No matter what type of material furniture is made from, it should not be put in your recycling bin at home.
Can you recycle furniture?
In general, unless your item is made of pure metal, pure plastic, or pure untreated timber, it won't be recyclable (if your piece of furniture is only made of metal, you may be able to find a scrap metal recycler in your area).
There are, however, ways to reuse, repair, and upcycle furniture so that it can be used again, which prevents valuable materials from going to waste in landfill.
If you are not able to sell, donate, repair, or upcycle the piece of furniture, unfortunately, it should be sent to landfill. If the item is too large to fit in your garbage bin at home, you should transport it to your local tip or contact your council to see if they have a collection service. Dumping furniture on the street or in the environment is illegal and is a fineable offence.
How to reuse, sell or donate furniture
If you're looking to get rid of some unwanted furniture or find a pre-loved bargain, then reusing, upcycling, donating, or selling are all options that have a positive environmental impact. By saving the piece of furniture from landfill, materials are kept in use at their highest value, which prevents the mining of resources to make new products and reduces greenhouse gas emissions.
If your furniture is in good condition, you may be able to sell it or give it away using an online marketplace such as Gumtree, eBay, and Facebook Marketplace.
There are plenty of ways to find or pass on good quality furniture: through charity stores, secondhand furniture shops, and antique stores, which are great places to hunt down a bargain - or pick up a collectable - all whilst helping to minimise your impact on the environment.
How to recycle office furniture
If your workplace or business has large quantities of furniture to dispose of, passing them on by donating or selling them will keep the materials used to make the products in use for longer. If they are not in good enough condition for donation or sale, there may be recycling options. Visit Business Recycling to find reuse and recycling services in your area.
GreenChair is a sustainable furniture and goods repurposing program operating across Australia helping businesses reduce their waste to landfill by allocating furniture and other unwanted items during renovation, relocation, and demolition to not-for-profit organisations, charities, and community groups in need.
How to upcycle furniture
During Planet Ark's National Recycling Week in 2021, the team at Planet Ark created the Save Our Furniture campaign to encourage Australians to upcycle old, outdated, and unwanted pieces of furniture. Watch our free online tutorials for expert upcycling tips and inspiration.
Furniture Buy-Back Programs
All IKEA stores in Australia offer a furniture buy-back and resell service. Follow the steps via their online tool to obtain an estimate of your furniture’s buy-back value. Then bring the furniture, together with your estimate, to your preferred store. Once a final agreed value is decided in person, this will be granted as a refund card. The preloved furniture will then be resold to a new home.
Find recycling services for mattresses in your area.
Discover how to recycle white goods.