The U.S. Green Building Council knows that buying refurbished office furniture is good for the environment. That’s why this kind of purchase can contribute to LEED points when you are outfitting a new or remodeled office. Here are a few facts and statistics that reveal just how much of a difference recycling office furniture can make.
- Every time you buy used furniture, you make a dent in the 3 million tons of office furniture that is thrown out annually.
- Because of the shape and rigidity of most office furniture, it takes up a disproportionate amount of landfill space – contributing to the need to build or expand landfills.
- Purchase a fleet of 40 used workstations and you just kept a full tractor-trailer load of waste from ending up in a landfill.
- One pound of resources (virgin or recycled) used for remanufacturing an office furniture item can go as far as 9 pounds of virgin raw materials needed to create new products. This saves fossil fuels, steel, wood, and more.
- Have office furniture refurbished and save up to 90% of the energy and labor resources needed to produce the same item new.
- Many of today’s office chairs and workstations are designed to be almost completely recyclable including the steel, aluminum, glass, and plastic components (some are even designed for fast disassembly to encourage recycling).
- The longer you can keep furniture in circulation, the better. Pograms for recycling office furniture materials are still in their infancy. The items may contain recoverable materials, but getting them into the recycling stream is challenging because there aren’t large scale efforts to collect office furniture for recycling.
One more statistic that you should know: Businesses that purchase pre-owned office furniture can save up to 70% off the price compared to new furniture
Facts and figures from Office Furniture Recycler’s Forum and the EPA