Conserving Natural Resources:
Because fewer raw materials are used, remanufacturing conserves energy and natural resources. Office furniture recycling extends the lives of resources already in circulation such as wood, aluminum, steel, plastics and fiber, using them over and over to the fullest extent possible. Industry experts estimate that for each pound of natural resources used in remanufacturing, five to nine pounds of original material are conserved.
Solid Waste Stream Reduction:
By recycling office furniture, the products as well as the natural resources are diverted from the solid waste stream. The EPA has estimated that approximately 3 million tons of office furniture and furnishings are discarded each year. For example, fabrics in panel systems tend to wear out and the colors become outdated. By remanufacturing, the fabrics can be replaced and the office furniture returned to the market for a second life. Recycling results in fewer products filling up limited landfill space. It is estimated that remanufacturing just one cubicle saves more than 1000 pounds of landfill waste. Remanufacturing just 40 cubicles diverts one tractor-trailer load of furniture from a landfill.
Recycling office furniture conserves manufacturing energy. The amount of energy required to alter an existing product during remanufacturing is 85 to 95 percent less than that required to manufacture a new product. And, since much of the product has already been manufactured, remanufacturing saves the enormous amounts of energy required for production, especially when metals are kept out of the resmelting process.
Furniture Recycling: Common Myths and Misconceptions
Don’t let concerns about product quality or costs keep you from considering recycled and remanufactured furniture as an option. Here are some common misconceptions and the facts you need to make an informed decision.
MYTH: Recycled products are inferior in quality.
Since remanufacturing restores worn furniture to “like new” condition, recycled office furniture is equal to new furniture in quality and reliability. Additionally, instead of a pre-determined selection of OEM finishes, the finish options are available, including many made from 100% recycled content, enable you and the designer complete freedom.
MYTH: Recycled products cost more.
Prices of recycled office furniture typically range from 30 to 70 percent less than new furniture! The conservation of energy and natural resources means that office furniture can be remanufactured for less than it costs to build new product. This savings is passed along to the consumer.
MYTH: Remanufacturing is not recycling.
Actually, remanufacturing is the ultimate form of recycling! Remanufacturing conserves natural resources, reduces the amount of product sent to the landfill, and saves manufacturing energy while adding value to the post-consumer product. Remanufactured office furniture is made to function and look like a new product – at a lower cost!
With environmental goals and “going green” becoming an ever-increasing priority in today’s society, purchasing recycled office furniture for your business can be a very good step in the right direction. Not only does it help companies in becoming more eco-friendly, it will also save money in the long run, while still maintaining the high quality look one always wants for their business.
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