Furniture Bank’s commitment to the environment is hard-wired into our DNA as a social enterprise and charity: we believe passionately that gently used but unwanted furniture and household items should not be thrown away.
Instead, Furniture Banks exist to find homes for your undamaged but unwanted items through partnerships with multiple social service agencies and shelter organizations.
According to the Conference Board of Canada, Canadians produce around 777 kgs of waste per person annually, the majority of which ends up in landfills (8.5 million tonnes per year!). Encouragingly however, 4.4 million tonnes were diverted through recycling, reuse, or composting.
We do our best to contribute to that latter number. In 2014, we diverted over 30,000 items of furniture away from landfills and into the homes of families and individuals transitioning out of homelessness. Taking the last 5 years into account, that number rises to over 160,000, while we estimate we have saved 300,000 items of furniture from waste disposal since we came into existence in 1998.
Occasionally however, we do receive furniture donations that are not suitable for re-donation to our clients. Where items are not in a good enough condition to make available on our showroom floor, we do our best to salvage the raw materials through our recycling program. Through our partnerships with metal, cloth and electronics recyclers such as the Ontario Electronic Stewardship, we recycled over 4500 kgs of cloth and fabrics, 2000 kgs of electronics and 50,000 kgs of metal last year.
Therefore, not only do your furniture donations to us tackle social issues surrounding homelessness and poverty, it also serves an important environmental function. By collecting gently used furniture from donors across the GTA, we have diverted over 10,000 tonnes of waste from landfill sites.