Senator International recycling subsidiary business “Sustain” is celebrating its 10th anniversary

Sustain is a not-for-profit recycling company, we do not mind where the furniture has originated, we want you as to consider recycling if you do not already, it could not be simpler –

1 – Recycling is calculated by the tonne – so *any* furniture?

2 – Free surveys if required, we just need to know, for example, No. of Chairs – 54, No. of Desks – 22 etc. You do not need to be specific, a chair is a chair, whether a Task Chair, Patient Chair. etc.

3 – We calculate the weight and the cost of transport and that is it, the service is there to recycle and operate “not for profit”

If you are not recycling at the moment – what happens to your old furniture?

We are looking to all Trusts we work with to consider a quotation for recycling against your preferred choice – whatever that be and compare against recycling.

Remanufacturing Service
Furniture remanufacturing can be considered as a way of turning your existing furniture into ‘good as new’. Find our more here.

Packaging Recycling Service
Throwing materials away not only costs you money but also adds to landfill shortage and wastes valuable resources that could be recycled. Find out more here.

Furniture Recycling Service
Did you know it costs approximately the same to recycle an item of furniture as it does to send it to landfill? Find out more here.

To maintain our ISO standards, the whole ‘journey’ of your recycling is documented, we will prepare a ‘Furniture Transfer Note’ to accept responsibility for the furniture when it is collected, and then after it has been recycled we will provide a certificate stating the amount of waste saved from landfill, and the saving of CO2 emissions by following the Sustain process. Example documents are available for download below.

Recycling Documentation Example
Recycling Documentation Example

Download an example of our ‘Furniture Transfer Note’ and ‘Furniture Recycling Certificate’ here

Recycling Brochure
Recycling Brochure

This is our recycling brochure which outlines what we recycle, and how we recycle it.

Conservation, Sustainability and Recycling Report 2018
Conservation, Sustainability and Recycling Report 2018

Find out the impact of the Sustain programme in our Conservation, Sustainability and Recycling Report 2018

To learn more about the Sustain programme and how much we’ve done in
the past 10 years – click here

By continually throwing office furniture away we are harming the environment, wasting valuable materials and wasting money.

Office furniture is typically made up of five different types of materials which can all be recycled with a bit of effort: woods, metals, plastics, fabrics and foams.


Each different type of board (Melamine Faced Chipboard, Medium Density Fibreboard or pure timber), is recycled in several different ways.

Around 50% of the wood recycled is typically used in a large Biomass Boiler in the North East to generate green energy or as a source of fuel for Biomass Boilers in larger Hospitals around the UK.
Approximately 15% of the recycled board is hogged then shredded and used for animal bedding. The remaining 35% is used in the manufacture of new board panels, creating a closed-loop recycling system for desktops.


Metal in the furniture is separated from the other materials using handheld power tools. The main two metals used in office furniture are Aluminium and Steel, both of these metals can be recycled many times, and so it’s very important that none are thrown to landfill.

Sustain also has a bespoke gas strut decommissioning machine, which converts the gas stem in a chair into an inert lump of steel, with the gas being safely released.


Office furniture will usually be of the following polymers: PVC, Polypropylene, Polystyrene, Nylon and Polyurethane.

All the different plastics are removed from the furniture, their polymer identified and then segregated accordingly. All hard plastics are granulated and turned into plastics granules or pellets. These granules can then be extruded into a variety of new products, including components for new office furniture.


All fabric on chairs, sofas and screens is segregated depending on whether it is natural or synthetic fibres. The fabric is stripped from the furniture, cleaned if necessary and then baled together with clean production waste fabric from Senator’s Seating factory.

It will be used as packaging material, animal bedding, mattress filling, carpet underlay or sometimes even the filling material inside boxing punch bags. In this way each year, despite fabric being very light, Sustain recycles around 50 tonnes of fabric.


Contrary to popular belief, the foam on seating, sofas and some screens can be recycled. The foam from redundant furniture is stripped from the other materials, cleaned if necessary and then baled. This foam is then shredded, glued and pressed and turned into carpet underlay.

In this way, each year – despite it being relatively light – Senator recycles over 25 tonnes of foam.

Landfill tax is increasing on an annual basis, so disposing of your waste is going to cost you even more in the future, as well as having a negative perception with your customers.