Updated: Nov 22, 2019
The Problem of Municipal Solid Waste Across the World
In the US, furniture is the number one least-recycled item in a household: only since 2008 has there been a recovery rate (materials used for recycling) greater than 0.05%. This means that we are adding furniture to landfills in record numbers. In 2015, the US Environmental Protection Agency reported that furniture accounted for 12.1 million tons of household waste, up from 2.2 million tons in 1960. Increasingly, people are becoming aware of the need to, and the options available for, upgrading their furniture pieces instead of disposing of the entire piece to the landfills.
Furniture Recycling in Hong Kong
In Hong Kong, according to the Environmental Protection Department, the total quantity of solid waste disposed of at landfills was 5.66 million tonnes in 2017; which has been increasing at a rate of 1.5% annually. This means Hong Kong has a much higher per capita generation of waste than other leading Asian cities, such as Tokyo, Seoul and Taipei.
In addition, there is severe income disparity within the city, and many cannot afford to buy new furniture. There is a need to recycle furniture at a greater rate, because it benefits underprivileged people and the environment.
There are numerous sustainable options available for those who wish to upgrade or recycle their furniture. For our next blog post, we’ll overview what exactly constitutes a sustainable piece of furniture and how to recycle furniture.