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Home Furniture

illustration: furniture


New Yorkers throw away more than 200,000 tons of old furniture and furnishings each year. Before you throw out your old furniture and invest in new items, consider some ways to reduce waste.



Buy quality furniture. It may cost a bit more, but it will last longer. Be aware that it’s easy to construct furniture cheaply and make it look expensive. A super-low price is probably too good to be true, and the inexpensive furniture often won’t stand up to everyday use.

Look for solid wood rather than particle board, laminates, and veneers. Solid wood often indicates quality workmanship. Don’t just look at the surface. Crawl under and look at the furniture from all angles. Look at the undersides and back of the furniture to see where manufacturers may have skimped by using pressboard instead of real wood.

For upholstered furniture, check seams and look at the supports to see if they are sturdy. The most expensive fabrics aren’t always the most durable. Consider how many kids or pets the fabric will have to endure.

Compare warranties before you buy. Will the store or manufacturer replace or repair the item if it breaks with normal use? A longer warranty period indicates their confidence in the product.


Consider buying second-hand. Check out nyc stuff exchange leaving NYCWasteLess.

Repairing, stripping, repainting, or restoring old wooden furniture gives good, solid pieces a second life.

Consider reupholstering rather than discarding that old couch or easy chair. Using new fabric, a professional can make it look like new for half the cost and much less waste.

Donate, give away, or sell your unwanted goods. Check out nyc stuff exchange leaving NYCWasteLess to donate, give away, or sell in nyc and online reuse and material exchanges to sell give away or sell online.


Recycle metal or plastic furniture that you cannot donate or repair. NYC residents are required to recycle any item that is 50 percent or more metal or plastic. Place it at the curb for recycling collection.

Wrap your mattresses and box springs. All mattresses placed out for trash collection or any metal box springs placed out for recycling must be placed out in a sealed bags in order to prevent the spread of bed bugs.

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