How to divert wood waste

ReStore shoppers love giving pre-loved home goods a second life, but unfortunately, each year millions of tons of treasures never make it to ReStore. That’s a lot of lost home updates and unexplored opportunities to support Habitat for Humanity by simply shopping!

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. generated 12.1 million tons of waste from cast-off furniture and household items in 2018. Sadly, 80.1% of that waste went to landfills! 

Of that 12.1 million tons, wood topped the list of disposed furniture materials. Considering that 18.7 million acres of forest are lost annually – the equivalent of 27 soccer fields every minute – the thought of usable wood lying in landfill waste can make anyone’s head spin.

The rise of fast furniture – cheap, mass-produced household goods based on the latest design trend – contributes significantly to the wood waste problem. First, its quality may be poor, making it more likely to break and get thrown out. And second, wood furniture, in general, is cumbersome and expensive to recycle.

Most wood furniture is made of many different materials, such as wood, metal, plastic, glue, and laminate, making it difficult and sometimes impossible to recycle. So, when you’re ready to part with furniture or building materials that have seen better days, ensure they get appropriately recycled by taking them directly to a recycling center. 

Click here to find your closest recycling center on CalRecycle’s interactive Map of Public Recycling Locations.

For wood construction materials, home décor, or furniture in good condition with more life to live, donate it to a Habitat for Humanity ReStore!

ReStore accepts wood material and furniture donations from new construction, demolition projects, residential homes, and corporate partners. We prevent your usable wood donation from becoming landfill waste by selling it at 50-75% off the original price! 

ReStore shoppers reuse or repurpose your donation, so it lives to see another day. Habitat for Humanity then uses the proceeds to support affordable homeownership and home repair opportunities across the Bay Area.

Thanks to California Climate Investment funds awarded to Habitat for Humanity ReStore by CalRecycle, as part of the Reuse Grant Program, ReStore has increased the amount of reusable wood staying out of landfills! 

In a recent article highlighting the partnership, Jean Bridges, Habitat for Humanity’s Chief Operating and Financial Officer, shared, “We have been able, through the CalRecycle program, to educate and involve the community in the recycling of wood items, as well as to purchase equipment and grow our team, setting ourselves up for greater recycling not only now, but well into the future.”

CalRecycle’s continued support is helping us increase our community’s access to a more sustainable shopping experience and divert quality wood products and materials from landfills.

Click here to read more about this exciting partnership!