About ROF > Recycling Facts

83% of designers surveyed believe they have an ethical responsibility to offer sustainable design options to their clients -- but only 37% actually did

REMANUFACTURING just (40) cubicles diverts one tractor-trailer load of furniture from a landfill.

"EPA estimates that businesses discarded approximately 3 million tons of furniture and furnishings in 1995 (Characterization of Municipal Solid Waste in the United States: 1996 Update).  Given a 1995 national average tipping fee of about $32 per ton (Solid Waste Digest), the potential avoided disposal costs are upwards of $100 million." - EPA Waste Wi$e Update, pg. 6.

High Recycled Content:  Recycled office furniture has a recovery content of about 86%.  This includes recycled wood, metal, plastic, fabric, paint, laminate, and cardboard.  (The EPA’s recommended content levels for plastic desktop accessories is 25-80% post consumer material, and 30% for paper and paper products.

Quality:  Remanufacturing and refurbishing restore worn out office furniture to “like new” condition.  Warranties have been included on recycled office furniture, which allow products to compete with new office furniture and add to the value of recycled office furniture.  The OFRF has published standards for recycled office furniture to help increase its quality and acceptance in the market place.

Availability:  Recycled office furniture is often more readily available than new because, for the most part, the product is already made.  This fact enables the recycler to provide short lead times, usually only four weeks.

Price:  Prices of recycled office furniture typically range from 25% to 75% less than new furniture!  The conservation of energy and natural resources result in recycled office furniture that is remanufactured at lower costs than manufacturing new.  Office Furniture Recyclers Forum members report their sales of recycled furniture are $1.2 billion, which represents 9% of the commercial furniture industry.

Conserving Natural Resources:  Office furniture recycling reduces the exploitation of limited natural resources by extending the lives of resources in circulation.  Natural resources, such as wood and aluminum, as well as steel, plastics, and fiber, may be reused over and over to the fullest extent possible.

Solid Waste Stream Reduction:  By recycling office furniture, the product as well as the natural resources are diverted from the solid waste stream.  For example, fabrics on 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.

Energy Conservation:  Recycling office furniture conserves labor and manufacturing energy.  Labor energy is conserved in post-consumer product because the amount of labor required altering an existing product is less than the labor required manufacturing new product.  Manufacturing energy is conserved when metals are kept out of the remelting process as well as in other manufacturing processes.

Air Pollution:  Recycling reduces the pollution caused by the manufacturing process.  Carbon monoxide (CO), carbon dioxide (CO2), sulfur oxides (SOX), nitrous oxides (NOX), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and particulate matter are all reduced by recycling office furniture.  By reducing the amounts of these contaminants, global warming, acid rain, photochemical smog, and other forms of air pollution are also reduced.

Average workstation = 1000 lbs.
Recycled content of remanufactured station = 85%