WASHINGTON — We’ve all seen it on trash day — an old desk or chair left out on the curb that's destined for the landfill.
Indeed, furniture is one of the least recycled household items. Each year, tons and tons of chairs, couches, and love seats all end up in the dump.
But one Loudoun County woman is on a mission to change that by turning one person's trash into another person's recycled furniture treasure.
A few years ago, Aimee Taylor started picking up old and unwanted furniture from the neighborhood curb and she began repurposing it into something new.
“A lot of the pieces I pick up are in great condition. It just maybe needs a drawer fixed or it needs a new coat of paint. It’s really easy to turn these pieces around and someone else can get the benefit of it,” Taylor said.
In 2018 the EPA reported that more than 12,000 tons of furniture were thrown away. Out of all that, only 1% was recycled. Taylor is working to change that.
Kristen Wolfe, a restore manager for Loudoun County Habitat for Humanity Restore, spoke to WUSA9 about the impact Taylor is making by flipping old discarded furniture.
“She reached out one day and said look this is what I'm trying to do. I want to keep things out of the landfill. Every time she brings a piece ... we are getting the story, the name of the piece ... if she has history on it. So, then it's great to try to pass that on to customers.”
In a period of two years, Taylor has flipped 52 pieces of furniture that appeared destined for the dump. She donated the finished product to her local Habitat for Humanity Restore.
Before and after shots of Aimee Taylor's furniture flips
“I sorta see this as a win-win-win situation. The first win is I get to continue my hobby which I absolutely love. The second win is we are keeping things out of the landfill. And third, someone else benefits from this,” Taylor said.
A simple hobby, run out of a two-car garage, making an impact in our community and our environment.
Taylor doesn't want to stop with her current efforts. She spoke about what she hopes to see in the coming years regarding how she'd like to "expand" this initiative.
“Obviously, I can only have so much impact working in my garage part time... Maybe there's a way you can intercept furniture that's destined for the landfill, maybe there's an exchange program."
She's always considering how she can build a better tomorrow, one piece of furniture at a time.
"There's got to be different ways that people can find alternatives to tossing pieces that could be used by somebody else."
More information on Aimee Taylor's work can be found on her Facebook page at Finished For Good.