It’s staggering how many items of furniture the UK throws away every single year; 22 million pieces, if you were wondering. And the worst part of it? A lot of the materials that have gone straight into a landfill could easily have been recycled.
The British Heart Foundation — a charity famous for ensuring unwanted furniture finds a new home — found that 30% of UK adults have thrown away pieces that could’ve been recycled, upcycled, sold or donated.
As bad as these stats sound, the younger demographic are keen to take action against wasteful habits. This is the first generation that understands how seriously our actions are affecting the planet, and they want to make a change.
One small problem, though, the British Heart Foundation also found that a fifth of 16-24 year olds don’t know how to recycle or donate unwanted furniture. Thankfully, university is generally considered a pretty good place for teaching young adults.
The importance and benefits of furniture recycling in PBSA can’t be understated. We’ll be the first to admit students aren’t the most delicate with furniture, and items that can’t be used anymore need to be disposed of properly.
In this blog, we explain why it’s so important and what you and the students can be doing to help the sustainable movement.
The Benefits of Furniture Recycling in PBSA
It goes without saying that there are many benefits of furniture recycling in PBSA. Some of the biggest plus points include:
Teaching the Next Generation
As we mentioned in the intro, most people who go to university will usually walk away with more knowledge than when they started. And while their courses are obviously important, the life skills students learn in your PBSA will make a huge difference to the planet.
You’ll find a lot of students really do care about sustainability and the planet. As an example, 52% of the UK’s vegans turned to the lifestyle between the ages of 16 and 24. The important thing is to provide them with enough education so they can make their own choices.
Give students an opportunity to get involved with the recycling schemes in your PBSA, and many will flock to it. You can encourage them to:
Find ethical disposal companies
Learn to upcycle
Reach out to charities
The more they learn about how to recycle furniture, the more inclined they’ll be to do it once they own their own homes. Education is the key, and you’re in the best position to teach.
Improving Your Development’s Brand Image
Big businesses get a bad reputation for being some of the worst offenders when it comes to poor sustainability. We know that’s not the case though, and there are many large companies out there that do everything they can to cut waste.
Young people don’t want to be associated with brands that harm the environment. Students take a lot into consideration when they’re deciding on where to live during university, and if you can show how your development is sustainable and responsible, it will lead to a better brand image.
In turn, this leads to more interest in your development and your company as a whole.
This might be an obvious point, but it’s always worth keeping your end goal in mind. The main benefit of furniture recycling in PBSA is that you’ll dramatically cut down on waste.
We all know students tend to go a little over the top when they’ve had a few drinks, they’re messing around with their mates and they’re looking to relax after a hard week of lectures.
Buying durable furniture designed for the market is a great way to ensure your pieces last for a long time, but replacement items will still be needed a couple of years down the line.
Across an entire development, that could mean a lot of furniture needs to be disposed of.
When LOFT is instructed to replenish PBSA developments, our team not only takes away any old pieces, we make sure they’re recycled as well. A good 89% of our recyclable waste is sent to an RDF plant so it can be repurposed into electricity. We’re also partnered with a special mattress recycling facility, which breaks down the materials for reuse. So far, we’ve saved over 3,000 mattresses from going to landfill.
How to Recycle Furniture
Improving your PBSA’s commitment to recycling is a great and worthwhile task to get involved with, but if you’re unsure of the best methods, we list our top ways below:
Donate Unwanted Furniture to Charity
Not everyone is fortunate in life. It’s easy to take our sofas, beds and desks for granted, but there are some people out there who really see these furniture pieces as unobtainable if bought new. Thankfully, there are many charities across the UK who can put unwanted items to much better use.
Donating furniture not only helps people furnish their properties on a budget, it also raises millions of pounds for good causes every year.
However, charities have to be cautious about what they can accept. If the furniture in your PBSA has been badly damaged or the fire labels have been removed, they may refuse to take your items. If in doubt, contact your local branch or the charity’s head office first.
Partner with LOFT
There are hundreds of rooms in PBSA buildings, plus many amenity spaces that are all packed with furniture. If the thought of emptying pieces from each room, finding ways to responsibly dispose of the furniture and then fitting out the rooms with new items sounds way too laborious, then let the experts step in to help.
When you purchase PBSA furniture from us, you benefit from our full service. This means all new items are delivered, assembled and installed with old pieces removed, replaced and recycled.
We’re committed to cutting waste wherever possible, and our promise to you is that no piece of furniture will end up in a landfill if it can be salvaged and reused with a greater purpose.
Ensure Your PBSA Benefits From Recycling Furniture
The key takeaways from this blog should be:
The benefits of furniture recycling in PBSA are plentiful
Finding ways to recycle is relatively straightforward
We’re always on hand to provide help and guidance when it comes to the responsible removal and disposal of PBSA furniture, and of course, we provide high quality student furniture packs if you need to replace old pieces.
Get in contact with our team if there’s any other way we can help.
Student Amenity Space Survey
Are you a PBSA developer or operator? A student landlord or letting agent? If so, please take part in our survey.