History and Types of Recycled Office Furniture
The recycling and remanufacturing industry began during the Great Depression and continued to grow during World War II. It was a time when manufacturers, mostly automotive, needed to reduce production costs and raw materials were limited. The industry grew and prospered; offering consumers a quality, reliable and economical alternative to buying new. In the 1980s, the office remanufacturing and recycling furniture industry emerged, which currently contributes $1.2 billion of the $13.6 billion to the commercial furniture industry.
Types of Office Furniture Available
Consumers now have various options when purchasing commercial office furniture. Here are terms and descriptions of the types of furniture available.
Recycled Office Furniture
Office furniture that is no longer wanted by its owner can be recycled. It was once new, but now has been worn out, or ‘uglied’ out. Rather than sending the furniture to the landfill site, this furniture is sent back into the market – with or without repairs.
Remanufactured Office Furniture
Recycled office furniture that has had value added to the product is considered remanufactured. It has been completely disassembled, parts assembled, cleaned, repaired or replaced, reassembled, and then refinished to ‘like new’ condition. It can be re-used by the original owner, or sent back into the marketplace for resale.
Refurbished Office Furniture
Recycled furniture that has valued added to it through cosmetic ‘touch-ups’ , is considered to now be refurbished.
Reused Office Furniture
Office furniture that has been used and then sold or re-introduced to the market without any improvements to it, is called reused, ’as-is’ or ‘used’ furniture.
New Office Furniture
Furniture that has never been used before, and made of original parts, is considered new. The furniture is made mostly of raw materials (natural resources) but can include some recycled materials.
Recycled Office Furniture (PDF), Office Furniture Dealers Alliance (OFDA) www.ofdanet.org