How to Dispose of a Sofa

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Posted by HIPPO
How to dispose of a sofa

We’ve all seen them: faded couches at the side of the road with ‘free sofa’ signs stuck to them with sellotape. How many passers-by have a car big enough to make off with a second-hand sofa, and what happens if it never finds a new home? Does it end up being carted off by the council, or being tarred and feathered as fly-tipping and landing a well-meaning owner with court time?

With waste, it’s better to be safe than sorry. When irresponsibly disposed of, even a simple fabric sofa can have a negative impact on the environment and leave you with a hefty fine.

How to Get Rid of an Old Sofa for Free

If your sofa is still usable but just isn’t your style anymore, take it to charity! Hundreds of people browse charities every day for second-hand furniture, and even if you think your couch is a lost cause, you never know if it’ll catch someone else’s eye. Your 1970s florals could be just the pop of colour a person needs in their living room. Even if you think it’s too far gone, an upcycling scheme could give your furniture a new lease of life - you won’t know if you don’t ask!

Contact a charity before taking your sofa in to make sure they have couch capacity. You may also need to hire a van to get it where it needs to go - charities are not always able to do home pickup. It’s important to note that you may not be able to give your couch to a charity if it doesn’t have a fire safety label attached.

Free sofa disposal - donate to a charity store

Some charities and websites that could help you to dispose of a couch include:

  • The British Heart Foundation - This charity has branches nationwide and will accept a variety of household and furniture items including sofas, armchairs and suites. The heart foundation is also a great place to find yourself a new (used) sofa if you haven’t replaced your old one yet.
  • Reuse Network - Dedicated to reducing waste, the Reuse Network is a charity aimed at passing your old items along to other people. Whatever furniture you’re getting rid of, Reuse will make sure it ends up with another home rather than in the landfill.
  • Freecycle – This is a nonprofit organisation aimed at finding people who need your old sofa. Listing your items here will help you to connect directly with someone who will take your couch off your hands and give it a new lease of life.

And don’t forget to make use of your local Facebook groups and Marketplace. You’ll be surprised that many people will make use and make do of old sofas for garage workshops and stables where the condition of the fabric is not so important due to dirty work environments.

How to Responsibly Dispose of a Couch

If the springs are gone or the fabric is worn out, your sofa could be past the point of no return, and it may be time to consider sending it to meet its maker - but how?

You can dispose of an old sofa at your local household waste recycling centre (HWRC). This facility will reduce your couch down to its components and recycle them into something new. However, not only does this require a large vehicle, but also time, and either super strength or a few people to help you.

If your car just isn’t big enough, or you don’t have time, a man with a van is here to help. This service will take your old sofa straight from your door, cutting out all of the extra work for you.

What is the Penalty for Fly-Tipping?

A blue sofa fly-tipped on a pavement

Fly-tipping is illegal in the UK, and it can be incredibly detrimental to the environment. Depending on the severity of the crime, fines of up to £50,000 and jail time can be served to offenders. Even though it may seem cheaper than hiring professional services, fly-tipping is never worth the risk to you or to the environment.

While it can feel overwhelming to get rid of your larger waste at times, there are plenty of methods available to you between private companies, recycling centres and your local council to make sure that you never get stuck with unmanageable waste.

How to Dispose of Furniture

A couch isn’t the only furniture that can stump you when it comes to getting it out of the door. Kitchen units, mattresses and armchairs can all be too large to take to the tip and too unsightly to leave in the garden for any length of time.

Whether you’re getting rid of a threadbare sofa, moving on to a new living room style, or clearing out to move house, HIPPO is here to help you sustainably dispose of your furniture. Contact us to discuss getting rid of your old couch, or check out our blog for tips on getting rid of trickier household waste.