Recyclable Office Chairs South Africa – Pros And Cons
Office chairs (and furniture) are recyclable! Many people haven’t got the memo, and they fail to realize that office furniture is largely recyclable, and with minimal planning, it can be reused, refurbished or disassembled for recycling. This does a lot for the environment, such as reducing the demand for materials (wood, metal and plastic), keeping large amounts of reusable waste from entering landfill, and reducing carbon emissions (which are associated with manufacturing new pieces).
In terms of emphasis on cost control and sustainability, this approach also does a lot for your business in terms of being a cheaper alternative for offices as well as a ‘visible’ way to show that you are serious about environment conservation and waste reduction. In this article, we have outlined some of the ways that you can recycle chairs, desks, partitions, workstations, storage solutions and other pieces that you no longer require.
How Are Office Chairs Recycled?
Office chairs are often made with plenty of metal, which is easy to recycle. It can go to a scrap metal dealer who will melt it down and turn it into other products. Most communities will have a metal bin at the recycling centre. Everything else in a chair, including the wood, plastic, leather and fabric, is likely to go to a landfill or incinerator. The wood is typically treated or a composite like chipboard, which means it cannot be recycled. The rigid plastics that make up office chairs are one of the toughest categories to recycle, and there is no good way to find out exactly what type of plastic is in the chair. Markets for used waste textile material are few and far between – and again, there’s no good way to know if that textile material is cotton, polyester, a combination of both or something else entirely.
What makes Ixaxa’s recyclable office chairs easier to recycle? From the recyclable range, only certain materials can be chosen from – such as mesh, padded textile or leather. This ensures that all components of the chair are not constricted and require going to a landfill.
What Happens In The Furniture Recycling Process?
Office furniture that you no longer want can be recycled in a number of ways, including: reused as is, refurbished, recycled or repurposed. Often, the process that is selected will depend on the condition of the pieces.
Reuse – If the furniture is in relatively good and working condition, it will be resold as is. You will find that start-ups and businesses struggling financially are interested in purchasing second hand, as they are unable to afford brand new pieces.
Refurbish – If the fixtures cannot be resold as is, it will be touched up and made more presentable. This could include cleaning, repairing defects, replacing worn fabric and painting over scratches. These pieces are also popular amongst start-ups and struggling offices.
Recycle – If the furniture is not suitable for reuse at all (perhaps it’s damaged beyond repair) it will be disassembled, separated into various materials (such as metals, plastics and fabrics) and sent to the appropriate recycling centre.
Re-purpose – If the furniture is not suitable for reuse, you might instead like to re-purpose it. We have seen various components turned into a sculpture, seating used in children’s cubby houses, and new legs added to a desk top for a dining table.