Furniture waste: innovation in furniture recycling and reuse

Finding new homes and new uses for unwanted office and household furniture.

The trend for swapping out furniture at regular intervals is causing difficulties. Witness the current number of adverts for sofa and bed retailers; and the ‘disposable furniture’ mind set has extended from households to the commercial sector.

A lot of furniture waste is currently disposed of to landfill or otherwise destroyed – yet the vast majority of it can be used by others in its current form and/or re-generated into new furniture and other useful objects.

VisionRe helps all sectors and all sizes of organisations to recycle furniture, either among their own offices and branches or selling/donating it to other organisations. We manage chairs, desks, pedestals, sofas, tables – plus electrical and electronic items.

We also work with household furniture retailers which operate take-back schemes.

Furniture waste? No, a furniture facelift in the public sector

When Essex County Council reviewed its office spaces to allow for more flexible working, it identified the need to swap out a large proportion of its office furniture. However, we had an alternative solution. Instead, we co-ordinated the transformation of much of the old furniture into high quality alternatives for the new-style spaces.

As an example, we converted redundant desk pedestals into to new lockers, that initiative alone saving an estimated £400,000 over three years.

Any remaining furniture we diverted to other organisations which could use it for many years to come.*

*This includes our own offices – all our furniture is ‘pre-owned’ (but you’d never guess)!

Approximately 1,100kgs of CO2 emissions were avoided and nothing went to landfill.

Find further information about furniture waste recycling with our Waste Match project