25 August 2020

Sofa removal: what happens to your old settee?

Read Time: 4 mins

When it comes to getting rid of your old sitting room furniture, the best-case scenario sees your sofa being reused by someone else that can make use of it. However, Clearabee knows a thing or two about sofa removal and knows that reusing a well-loved couch isn’t always an option. So, with that in mind let’s take a look at what happens to your old sofa.


Piled Up

If sending your sofa to a charity store isn’t viable for whatever reason, then Clearabee are the next best thing. Instead of sending your pre-loved sofa to landfill, we will transport it to one of our approved and audited Waste Transfer Stations. Each of the stations we transfer waste to are specially selected due to a proven track record with regards to recycling and recovery rates, environmental management standards, health and safety and modern slavery risks.

old sofa

At these stations, collected sofas, armchairs and corner units are all stacked up in their hundreds until it’s cost-effective and warranted to call the slow-speed shredder to action.

Ripped Up

Usually grabbed by a crane and claw, the old sofa units are dropped into the shredders’ 10 rows, each made up of 10 spinning knives. The sofas are then shredded, with the newly stripped-down component parts of wood, foam and fabric deposited into a designated bay.

waste processing site

As the sofa goes through the shredder, a scavenging magnet separates the metal components from the foam, wood and fabric, before moving them along the belt and depositing them into a dedicated receptacle. When standard sofas are shredded, this can result in the scavenging of screws, feet and frame hooks. For reclining armchairs and sofas such as a La-Z-Boy, more intricate metal components can be scavenged which often includes frames, springs and electronic circuitry and wiring.

From here, the ferrous metal remnants of your sofa can be melted down and soldered to create secondary metals, which in turn can be made into new products and used for either domestic or industrial purposes. Non-ferrous metals such as wiring (in the case of La-Z-Boys etc) can also be melted, cast and manufactured into new copper products.


Picked Apart

The pile of shredded component parts then traverses down a belt and are picked and separated by hand into foam, fabric and wood piles, dependent on size and quality.

The wood shards that are recovered are either recycled or repurposed, unless they are considered of too low a quality, in which case they are used as refuse derived fuel or RDF, which is produced from various types of waste. Along with the foam and fabric, this is used for district heating purposes or industrial uses.

Although time-consuming and certainly laborious, this whole process ensures that wastage from unwanted and unusable sofas is kept to an absolute minimum, with as much of the sofa being recycled as possible. If you are considering getting rid of your old sofa and it can’t be donated to a local charity, then be sure to select a reputable rubbish removals service who are not only registered and licenced waste carriers, but who also have the best interests of the environment at heart.

sofa reclaimed waste

If you are unsure what will happen with your sofa when booking a sofa removal service, don’t be afraid to ask.

Sofa Removal from Clearabee

As the UK’s largest clearance company, Clearabee never send a sofa to landfill and instead divert at least 95% of what we collect so that it can be repurposed or recycled. Our rapid reaction sofa removal services are available on demand throughout the nation, meaning that your sofa can usually be collected during the very same day.

Each rubbish removal we undertake is completed with the issuing of a digital Waste Transfer Note. Not only does this document make up your Duty of Care, but it also gives you the confidence that you have responsibly removed your sofa and done your bit for the planet. The document breaks down exactly which items have been removed by Clearabee, which Waste Transfer Station has accepted them as well as the recycling rate of the collection.

So, if you’re in the market for a new sofa and you want to make sure your old one goes to good use, then give Clearabee a buzz.

Removing rubbish. It’s what we do.


About Clearabee

Clearabee operates nationwide on-demand rubbish clearance and waste removal services, with over 120 vehicles and 300 directly employed staff. Our core services include our industry-leading rubbish clearance service as well as our skip bag, skip hire and sofa removal services.

Clearabee has been ranked as the fastest-growing waste management company in Europe for 3 years running and featured on The Sunday Times Virgin Atlantic Fast Track for the last two years.

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