Offices cycle through furniture with a high level of frequency.
In the U.S., the Environmental Protection Agency estimates that about 11.6 million tons of furniture and furnishings waste hits municipal waste streams every year. That’s a slightly dated estimate. But since no nationwide recycling measures have forced policy or behavior changes, it’s fair to assume that the amount of waste from furniture is now even higher.
Businesses have a major role to play in ensuring that old office furniture stays out of landfills.
But what should we do to solve the problem? Here are a few tips on how to deal with old office furniture.
Find a New Use for It
Just because a bit of furniture is a little old and even a little outdated doesn’t mean that it’s beyond use.
The best way to address old office furniture is to redeploy it in some way, perhaps by selling it or by keeping it for future use in a new office.
There is a whole industry for after-market and second-hand office furnishings. Buyers for these companies are often looking for complete sets to sell to offices that want a total overhaul of their furnishings.
Keep in mind that you very likely won’t get a high price for your furniture. These furniture dealers are businesses too, and they need to keep their acquisition costs as low as possible to turn a profit.
If you decide your old furniture isn’t worth selling, it might be worth storing for later. If all goes well, your company will grow and you will need to furnish more space for new employees. Holding onto old furnishings will give you materials at no cost to get started.
Give It Away
If you can’t sell your furniture because it’s a touch out of date despite being in good condition, consider donating it to charity.
There are are several ways to handle this. One way is to seek out charitable organizations that accept donations that you can write off. These organizations will sometimes even haul the furniture away for you, making cleanup that much easier.
Even if you can’t write off your donation, you’ll be contributing to a good cause and building your reputation in the community.
Throw It Away When It’s Dead
Figuratively, “dead” means that old office furniture doesn’t work anymore. It isn’t serviceable and others can’t use it because of its state. If your furniture is dead, it’s time to get rid of it for good.
The furnishings that hit the local municipal landfill won’t likely degrade over time. So make sure to think before you toss them—if there’s any other way they can be recycled, the landfill space isn’t worthwhile.
Give Your Old Office Furniture New Life
There are many ways to make the most of what could be considered waste. If your business cares about being ecologically and economically responsible, it’s time to recognize that even old office furniture can have value.
Finding how to extract that value requires the same genius it takes to get a startup off the ground and how to run a growing business. For more great business and startup content, make sure to check out the rest of our site.