How to Dispose of Furniture
Find the Best Furniture Disposal Option for You
How to dispose of furniture is a challenge faced by anyone who’s getting ready to move, downsize or simply update their furnishings. Unfortunately, getting rid of old furniture is often a tricky task. Typically, you have two options for furniture disposal: donate it or throw it away. The right choice for your situation will depend on your furniture’s condition and your local disposal regulations. Use the information below to determine which furniture disposal option makes sense for you.
Can Furniture Be Recycled?
Unfortunately, furniture simply cannot be recycled in most locations. The stains, varnishes and adhesives that wooden items have been treated with are toxic, and so is the foam that soft furnishings contain. You can sometimes recycle the mattress portion of a futon or sofa bed, but in most cases, if you can’t donate your old furniture due to its condition, then it must be thrown out. See below for more information on each of these furniture disposal options.
Assess the Condition of Your Furniture
In order to decide how best to get rid of your old furniture, you first need to determine what shape it’s in. Furniture in pretty good condition can be donated to charity. However, furniture that’s past its prime should be thrown out.
Your furniture can be donated if:
- The item can be used as-is, with no need for repairs.
- Upholstery is free of major rips, stains and odors.
- Wood is free of major scratches or gouges.
- The item has never been infested with bedbugs or other pests.
Option #1: Donate Your Furniture
Donating your old furniture allows you to get rid of couches, chairs, dressers and other large items while lending another family a helping hand. Begin your search for where to donate your furniture with these options:
- Local Furniture Banks: Most offer pickup services.
- Local Shelters: Usually require you to drop furniture off. Some might offer pickups.
- Habitat for Humanity ReStores: Offer pickup services.
- Goodwill: Requires you to drop off items.
- Salvation Army: Offers both drop-off and pickup options.
Keep in mind that even if your furniture is in excellent condition, your chosen charity may not be able to take it all based on patrons’ current needs or how much storage space they have available.
Option #2: Dispose of Your Furniture
How to throw away furniture largely depends on how much furniture you need to get rid of and how quickly you want to get the job done. These are your options:
This option is best for quickly getting rid of a large number of furniture items. This makes it an especially helpful choice if you’re preparing for a move, since you can also use that dumpster to get rid of the other junk you don’t want to haul to your new home. Keep in mind that costs will vary by location and that your dumpster will come with a weight limit.
This is the best furniture disposal option if you have just a few smaller items. Keep in mind that some trash companies charge extra to pick up furniture in addition to your regular trash. Also be aware that in some areas you must seal upholstered furniture in plastic before curbside collection will accept it. In some areas, it won’t be accepted at all. Research your local regulations.
Bulk Collection Days:
This option is best if you need to get rid of a couch or other large item but don’t need to get rid of it immediately. You might also check whether your city allows residents to schedule their own bulk collection dates. Just keep in mind that your city may limit how many items or what type of items you can dispose of on bulk collection days. Learn the specifics in your location.
Junk Removal Service:
Another option when you need to get rid of a larger amount of furniture at once. One major difference between junk removal services and a dumpster rental is that with most junk removal companies, you pay according to how much space your items take up in their truck. With a dumpster rental, you typically pay one rate to fill your dumpster as much as you want, provided you stay within the weight limit.
Are there any fees associated with disposing of furniture?
In some areas, landfills charge a fee to dismantle any upholstered furniture you throw away. This is done to decrease the amount of space furniture takes up in the landfill. That fee will apply whether you’re renting dumpster to get rid of furniture or using curbside or bulk collection. Call us at 1-866-284-6164 for information specific to your location.
What is the best way to load furniture into a dumpster?
When using a dumpster to get rid of old furniture, try to distribute items evenly in the container. Also make sure all materials are level with the dumpster’s top edge—nothing sticking up over the top or hanging over the sides.
How much will my furniture weigh?
The weight of your furniture will depend on the types and quantity of items you’re throwing away. Give us a call and we’ll help you determine the dumpster size with the right weight limit for your needs.
Have some other tricky items to dispose of? Check out our other disposal how-tos to learn how to get rid of other bulky and difficult debris.