How To Dispose of a Couch Responsibly
New furniture is always exciting! Getting a new couch in your space could give the room a fresh, lighter feel. However, it’s always also a hassle, having to dispose of the old couch.
It’s big, heavy, and not a joy to haul away. And there’s having to decide where to haul it away to or what to do with it now that you’re getting a replacement and don’t want it anymore.
You could think of dumping it by a curb, hoping it’s picked up sooner or later. But that’s not responsible or eco-friendly. It’ll constitute toxic, flammable waste in the environment. So, how do you dispose of a couch responsibly? This article is a complete guide to disposing of your couch properly. However, first, let’s talk about when you need to dispose of your couch!
When Do You Need to Dispose of Your Couch?
How Long Have You had It?
The average couch lasts up to 7 years, after which it’s advisable to dispose of it and get a replacement. When you’ve used a couch for that long, you can expect that quality to have reduced so much that it doesn’t offer you the comfort you need. However, this doesn’t apply to all couches. If you have an antique couch or custom-made couch, they’ll likely last way longer than 7 years. Those are usually made with high-quality materials, and the craftsmanship is usually not what you’ll find commercially. At the most, antique or custom-made couches may only need simple refurbishments.
Is The Couch Still Comfortable?
Personal comfort is one reason why many people buy a couch. It’s nice to have somewhere to hang out with friends, play a game, see a movie or watch the news. However, if you can’t comfortably sit on your couch through an average-length movie, it’s time to dispose of it and get a more comfortable couch. Check that the cushions are not sagging, there are no protrusions, and that the padded parts are still firm. If any of these isn’t right, it may be time to dispose of your couch.
You’re Moving or Remodeling Your Home
If you’re moving out to a place that’s already furnished or out of town, you may want to get rid of your couch. It’s quite easy to dispose of items you won’t need in the future when you’re moving out. Also, when people do house remodels, it’s common to dispose of and replace all of the furniture in the home.
Has Your Couch Become a Health Hazard?
Your health is also something to consider. If there are molds, mildew, or darkened spots on your couch, you should consider disposing of the couch. These may constitute several health problems, especially if you have asthma or allergies. These could cause pneumonitis, sinusitis, bronchitis, and many respiratory problems in children. You should flip the couch and check for bedbugs, mites, critters, and other insects. Also, check for animal droppings. If you find any of these in your couch, it might be a good time to dispose of it. Don’t try to fix a couch that has bedbugs or that some parts have been blackened with mold or bacteria. Disposal is most likely the better option for your health.
What’s the Structure Like?
If your couch has started creaking or rocking when you sit or get up from it, the structural frame is most likely weak. It’s no use having a couch with a weak structure; it’s evidence that it could break down sometime soon. Start saving or hunting for a new couch.
Check for Wear and Tear
Wear and Tear mostly concerns the condition of the couch’s fabric. Check for stains, holes, and other signs of wear and tear. If the couch structure is still strong and reliable, you may only need a re-upholstery. However, it’s important to consider and compare the cost of a re-upholstery to the cost of disposal and replacement. Often, you can get a great couch at a thrift price, and disposal may not be costly.
What Are Your Couch Disposal Options?
There are a few ways in which you can dispose of your couch. Although, the best option depends on the condition of the couch and your preference.
Donate To Charity
A donation to charity is a great way to dispose of a couch you don’t need anymore. However, you should only donate after making some assessments and concluding that the couch is still in good condition. It would be unethical to donate a couch in bad shape to charity.
Here are a few things to check to ensure your couch is worthy of donation:
- Stains (if possible, try and get the stains out first; try vacuuming and spot cleaning.
- Mold, Mildew, Animal Droppings
- Wear and Tear
Donating your old couch to charity is a great option if you’re doing a home remodel and would like to replace your home furniture or if you’re moving away and need to get rid of your couch.
A few donation options for your couch include:
- The Salvation Army
- Habitat for Humanity International (HFHI)
- Furniture Bank Association of America (FBA)
- Goodwill Industries
You can also check whether your local furniture bank, neighborhood charities and shelters accept couch donations.
Sell or Give Away
Another way to dispose of a couch that’s still in good condition is to sell it. Facebook Marketplace is a platform that allows people to sell many different items. There’s most likely a student or a new resident in your area that will gladly take it off you for some money. You can also use a mobile app like LetGo, and other online platforms such as Craigslist, OfferUp, or check your local thrift store.
Alternatively, you can reach out to your friends and ask your neighbors if they need an extra bed. Again, you can give it away on Facebook Marketplace by making a post and asking who needs a couch. Freecycle and Trash Nothing are other platforms where you can find someone around you that needs a couch.
Recycle Your Old Couch
An average couch may weigh between 54 and 250 pounds and constitute up to 2 yards of trash, and in 2017, more than 12 million tons of furniture waste was generated in America alone. 80% of this waste, the bulk of which are mattresses and couches, goes to landfills. You can imagine how much space couches take up in landfills.
Couches create an even more toxic environment in landfills because they contain harmful chemicals, including formaldehyde and carcinogenic flame retardants, contaminating soil and water.
When you consider the potential health hazards of couches in landfills, you may want to recycle your old sofa and not contribute to the landfill waste. One way to do this is to find a suitable recycling program that takes couches.
Many cities in the US have recycling programs that aim to reduce waste and environmental pollution. Check whether your city has a recycling center. You may have to take the couch there yourself, but in some cases, you can pay a small fee for the program to pick the couch up.
If you are remodeling your home and would be getting a new set of couches, ask about your retailer’s collection and recycling program. They may be able to take your old couch into a recycling program.
You can’t recycle waterlogged couches, couches infested with bedbugs, polyfill, and foam-core cushions.
Repurpose Your Couch
A creative way to dispose of your couch is to repurpose the materials. You can break your couch up and separate the different materials; the springs and metals, the cushion and fillings, the wooden frame, and the fabric. These can be repurposed as home decor, consumer products, or for industrial use. Here are a few things you can repurpose the materials as:
- Couch springs: wreaths, lanterns, chandeliers, abstract objects for home decor, melted in industries for construction metals.
- Cushion and filings: pet beds, throw pillows, gym mats, floor cushions, fuel production.
- Wooden frame: wood art for home decor, chipped for use as lawn mulch, compost bin, animal bedding, or fuel.
- Fabric: quilt, pillowcases, chair padding, insulation.
Hire a Disposal Professional
Not ready to deal with the stress of recycling and repurposing, or there’s no avenue for these in your locality, and nobody has offered to take it or buy it from you, or perhaps you’re in a hurry to dispose of it, but you want to do it responsibly? The easiest way to go about this is to hire a professional waste disposal service and let them handle it. Some waste disposal services may offer this service for a price. Just google “Couch Disposal Services Near Me” and find some suggestions. Some companies also provide couch disposal specifically alongside other waste disposals.
Dimension can help you out here! Not sure how to dispose of your old couch? Give us a call, and we’ll get to it!
Apart from relieving you of the stress of disposing your couch yourself, we’ll also help you haul it from your space. Not to worry; it won’t end up in a landfill! We are a team of professionals, and we preach responsibility and compliance in waste disposal. We know how best to handle your couch and make sure it is recycled.
What’s more? We don’t only handle couch disposal; we can help with other items you don’t need including mattresses and other furniture, electronics, etc. And unlike most waste disposal/ junk removal companies, we are very affordable.
Give us a call today!