Furniture and household items

Furniture and household items left out for collection

Why recycle furniture and household items?

Furniture, fixtures and fittings, and other household items such as crockery, books and bric-a-brac, are made from a range of natural resources. The materials must be sourced, then the product is designed and constructed. Disposing of these items as rubbish is a waste of materials, energy, time and effort. Recycle your furniture and household items to:

  • conserve raw materials
  • reduce landfill
  • reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

How to recycle furniture and household items

Charity shops, garage sales and online forums

Reduce, reuse, recycle. Items in good condition can be taken to your local charity store, second-hand furniture shops or antique stores. You might also sell them through online forums and garage sales, or give them to family and friends. The National Association of Charitable Recycling Organisations (NACRO) ensures its members use all collected goods and proceeds exclusively for their welfare programs. Always check with your charity shop to confirm which items are accepted, and remember that leaving items outside a closed store or next to a collection bin is illegal dumping.

Resource recovery centres (transfer stations)

Many councils operate resource recovery centres, also known as transfer stations or ‘tips’, where you can dispose of unwanted goods and furniture. Some resource centres have ‘tip shops’ that accept good quality household goods and furniture which they then sell at great prices. Contact your local council to find out whether furniture and other household items are accepted.

Ceramic and glass waste (non-packaging) and cutlery

Items such as cups, crockery, drinking glasses, Pyrex glass, ovenware, window glass and mirrors should be wrapped (if broken) and placed in your garbage bin. Items in good condition can be donated to your local charity shop, given to family and friends, or sold at a garage sale. Damaged or broken metal cutlery should be placed in your kerbside recycling bin.

Hard rubbish collections

If you have exhausted all other options, furniture that is broken and cannot be reused or recycled can be discarded through your local council’s hard rubbish collection. Check with your local council to confirm hard rubbish arrangements and find out whether there are other recycling options in your area.

Purchase recycled furniture and household items

Remember that recycling only works if we also buy recycled. When did you last look for a bargain at your local charity shop or through an online forum?

Furniture recycling for businesses

Businesses should visit Planet Ark’s to find collection and pick up service options.

What happens to recycled furniture and household items?

Furniture and household items that do not find a new home through charity shops, online forums and so on will be broken down into their recyclable materials such as glass, plastic, metal and paper and recycled accordingly.

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Council waste and recycling

Household paint, batteries and fluorescent lights can be dropped off for free. Check with your local council for details.

Find your council