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Whether you're moving, downsizing, upgrading, or just clearing out clutter, you might wonder what to do with those pieces of old or unwanted furniture. And in New York City, getting rid of furniture isn't always as straightforward as it seems. The city has specific rules and regulations you need to follow.

For example, large items like sofas and mattresses need to be scheduled for bulk pickup and sometimes require special preparation like sealing mattresses in plastic bags. Plus, there are strict recycling guidelines and donation policies to consider.

But don't worry, with our experience and knowledge of NYC's disposal rules, we'll help you navigate these complexities smoothly. Let’s go over some ways to get rid of large items and other unwanted furniture safely, legally, and permanently in NYC.

How to Dispose of Unwanted Furniture in NYC

For people who live in rural areas, furniture removal is as easy as dumping those bulk items like box springs, tables, etc., in a local landfill that’s rated for legal furniture disposal. In NYC, however, in any of its boroughs, this isn’t an easy thing to do. New York doesn’t have much space at all; it’s not exactly a rural setting. Outside of Central Park, everything’s basically concrete and steel.

Renting a Dumpster or Scheduling Bulk Item Pickup

In NYC, getting rid of large items like sofas, dressers, or tables requires a bit of planning. You’ll need to schedule a pickup with the Department of Sanitation (DSNY) ahead of time. This ensures your furniture is disposed of properly and doesn’t clutter up the streets.

Many buildings offer options such as access to a legal DSNY dumpster. However, using a dumpster isn’t as simple as just dumping your items. You need to properly wrap mattresses and box springs to prevent the spread of viruses, bacteria, and bed bugs. Additionally, you should act quickly because as collection day approaches, dumpsters can fill up fast, leaving no room for your items.

Opting for a Junk Removal Service

Another option is using a junk removal service. These services will come to your apartment and handle the removal of large items like box springs and old air conditioners. Oz Moving's junk removal service is a great choice. Alternatively, you can ask the company you bought your new furniture from if they can dispose of your old items. Some companies offer this service.

No matter which method you choose, always follow NYC’s laws against illegal dumping. Check out the “How to Get Rid of” resource on the website for more detailed information.


Disposing of Special Items

  • Mattress Disposal: When it comes to getting rid of mattresses, there are specific rules. To stop the spread of bedbugs, all mattresses and box springs must be sealed in a plastic bag before disposal. You can find these bags at most hardware stores and online. If you don’t follow this rule, you could get fined. It's a simple step that makes a big difference.
  • Bed Bugs: If your furniture has bed bugs, you need to let others know. Put a sign on the item when you take it to the trash area. This helps prevent others from taking it and spreading the infestation. We’ve seen firsthand how important these steps are in keeping NYC clean and safe.

Eco-friendly Ways to Dispose of Your Furniture

Here are some eco-friendly ways to get rid of furniture that we’ll briefly touch on in a bullet point list. There will be more thorough information about these methods where needed.

  • Give away your furniture to friends and/or family.
  • Sell your furniture off.
  • Donate your furniture to places like Goodwill and the Salvation Army.
  • Hire an eco-friendly junk removal service.
  • Find a legal rated landfill.
  • Repurpose your old furniture to become new furniture.

Need a Junk Removal service in NYC? Reach out to us today to get a free quote!


Donating Your Excess and Unwanted Furniture

There are tens of thousands of people in NYC now who can barely afford living. They need furniture, but they cannot afford it. You, having excess furniture that needs to be disposed of, can help by donating furniture.

Of course, this isn’t going to work by going door to door and just dropping furniture off. You may know someone who can use a window unit, air conditioner or a box spring, etc., but if you have a lot of furniture to get rid of, it’s best to go with different donation places. We’ll run through a quick list below, so you know how to donate your items. The good news here is that with some donations, you can even write it off in your taxes and get a deduction.

Where to Donate Furniture in NYC

For furniture donations, here are some different places and methods for donating furniture in New York City.

  • One of dozens of different Salvation Army locations
  • Goodwill, and other area thrift stores/donation centers
  • List on Craigslist, free for pick up
  • Tell people about unwanted furniture; word of mouth gets around
  • Take to Hour Children in Queens, and other similar locations
  • NY-based nonprofit locations like Housing Works

Selling Your Furniture

It’s a shame to pay so much for something just to end up disposing of it. We all feel this sting especially among economic restrictions and inflation. So, why not attempt to sell off that furniture instead? Furniture isn’t an appreciable item, generally speaking, so you won’t get back what you put into it. But some extra cash can help you hire moving companies, buy new furniture, etc.

Here are a few options to help.

For any of these methods, you want to take clear, vivid photos of the furniture and write accurate, honest descriptions about what you’re selling. Keep it short and sweet. When you’re all set to move, consider contacting Oz Moving & Storage to help you move individual pieces of furniture.

Reusing and Repurposing Your Furniture

Another great way to get rid of furniture is to simply reuse it. Used furniture and unwanted furniture can become something fantastic when you transform old cabinets into a kitchen island, or an old set of end tables into an entertainment stand. There are tons of different housing works websites you can visit for tips and tricks to repair and reuse your existing furniture by transforming it into something brand new. Turning your old furniture into new pieces of furniture is also something fun you can do with your kids.

When you are done repurposing furniture, you might still have a lot of scrap left that needs to be thrown out. These may not be recyclable items, so be sure to check out an updated sanitation site to find out what to do with it.

blue old sofa at the curbside

Can You Leave Unwanted Furniture on the Streets of NYC?

As to whether or not you can simply leave items on the sides of streets in New York, keep in mind that the city isn’t a landfill. Nor is it some rural area that’s spread out. Leaving furniture out in front of your NYC apartment is literally leaving it in front of other people’s apartments. They live there, too. The sidewalk isn’t a dumpster for your personal needs.

If you go to the website, which is the “Official Website of the City of New York,” you can read about “Bulk Item Disposal.” To surmise what this site says, you’d be much better off calling some movers to assist you, or an eco-friendly junk removal service. The fact is that items too large for a trash bin need to be disposed of differently, typically by setting up an appointment or taking your items to a predetermined location before collection day.

You can put up to 10 bulk items out every collection day, but these items cannot be mattresses, box springs, electronics, or any sort of construction materials. The city wants them to be recyclable items. Most will have to be left in proper plastic bags. Please refer to the website for specifics. 

Are There Rules For Getting Rid of Furniture in NYC?

There are certainly rules and regulations with which you must contend here, and many have just started new, or been dusted off and put back into circulation. So, please, before you do anything, make sure you visit to ensure that you’re doing things legally. The last thing you want is a hefty fine when you’re just trying to get rid of old furniture.

Moving soon? Get your free quote from Oz Moving & Storage.

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