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Environmental Recovery

End of Product Life for Original Purchaser

Bernhardt Design products are designed and engineered to last for many years. Frequently, whether designed under the Design for the Environment program or a legacy product, the life span of the product is longer than customers require, resulting in the issue of disposal.

While disposal in a landfill can occur, Bernhardt Design offers alternatives to discarding products. Since Bernhardt Design products are distributed worldwide, returning products to the original production location would consume resources and generate greenhouse gasses. Consequently, two alternatives are available to the consumer: repurpose and recycle.

Repurpose

Donating furniture to social agencies assisting the economically disadvantaged is an opportunity for disposal of products while making an appreciable difference in the quality of life for the recipient. Examples include the homeless transitioning to housing, families who have lost their possessions through fire or disasters, refugees from war-torn countries re-settling in the United States, and the elderly living on fixed incomes. Organizations such as Habitat and various shelter homes frequently need furniture.

Many agencies accept donations; some will pick up the donated item. The organizations below are just a few of the groups that assist in giving products a second life and keeping them from the landfill.

•Contact the National Furniture Bank Association for a local affiliate. The National Furniture Bank Association is a network of facilities throughout the United States that collect and distribute used furniture and other items to people in need.

•Check out the Reuse Development Organization (ReDO), a nonprofit organization that promotes reuse of surplus and discarded items, including furniture and household goods. ReDO maintains a list of organizations by state that accept furniture donations.

•Charities that typically provide pickup service for donated furniture and household items (as well as drop-off points) include Military Order of the Purple HeartSalvation Army, and Big Brothers; Big Sisters which often have trucks scheduled to pick up in different locations. Call the nearby Goodwill Industries facility to see if a furniture donation pickup service is provided.

•Contact local churches and inquire if they have furniture donation programs for needy individuals and families, or know of people who can use furniture and household items.

•Consider donating furniture to a homeless shelter, a battered women's shelter, or to a refugee resettlement program. Telephone numbers for these organizations may be found in the local phone book (women's shelters will have a phone number but no address for security reasons), or on web sites. Local United Way organizations may have information regarding area groups.

•Local theater groups may use donated furniture for sets and welcome donated props to help defray costs.

•Offer items on Internet-based grassroots organizations such as Freecycle or FreeShare that offer individuals a forum for donating (and receiving) free items, including furniture and household goods. Together, more than 4,300 individual Freecycle or FreeShare communities exist in the United States and around the world. Registration is free.

Recycle

The recycling of used products requires more time and effort than repurposing, but sometimes is the most efficient way to avoid landfill disposal. While Bernhardt Design products are designed through the Design for the Environment program to be easily disassembled, some products must still be deconstructed in order to separate the materials into liked components. Since this can be a physically challenging process, appropriate safety precautions should be taken.

Typically, up to seven types of components may exist in Bernhardt Design products: wood, composite wood products, metal/aluminum, plastics, fabric/textiles, polyurethane foam, and electrical. Most municipalities have a recycling program that will accommodate these materials. Some materials, such as the metal and aluminum, may even be a saleable commodity in some areas.

If the local municipality does not offer recycling services, the following links can provide information on recycling in certain regions and states.

Regional Websites

EPA Region Websites and Waste Programs

1 ME, NH, VT, MA, RI, CT: Solid Waste Reduction and Recycling
2 NY, NJ, PR, VI: Hazardous WastePollution PreventionSolid Waste
3 PA, DE, DC, MD, VA, WV: Municipal Solid Waste (Recycling)Waste and Chemicals Management Division
4 KY, TN, NC, SC, MS, AL, GA, FL: Waste Management Division
5 MN, WI, IL, MI, IN, OH: Pollution PreventionWastesSolid Waste ProgramWaste Minimization
6 NM, TX, OK, AR, LA: Solid Waste ProgramsWaste Topics
7 NE, KS, IA, MO: Household Hazardous WasteHazardous Waste ProgramSolid Waste ProgramUnderground Storage Tanks
8 MT, ND, WY, SD, UT, CO: Conservation and RecyclingLand and Waste Programs
9 CA, NV, AZ, HI: Recycle CitySolid and Hazardous Waste Programs
10 WA, OR, ID, AK: Hazardous Waste Waste/Chemicals Mgmt Pollution Prevention, RecyclingSolid/Municipal Waste

 

Alabama

Department of Environmental Management
Land Division

Alaska

Department of Environmental Conservation

Arizona

Department of Environmental Quality
Waste Programs Division

Arkansas

Department Environmental Quality
Hazardous Waste Division
Solid Waste Management Division
Regulated Storage Tanks Division

California

Environmental Protection Agency
Department of Toxic Substances Control
Integrated Waste Management Board
California Waste Stream Profiles
Medical Waste Management Program

Colorado

Environmental Protection
Hazardous Materials and Waste Management

Connecticut

Department of Environmental Protection
Bureau of Waste Management
Pollution Prevention
Underground Storage Tank Program

Delaware

Department of Natural Resources & Environmental Control
Division of Air and Waste Management
Solid and Hazardous Waste
Underground Storage Tank Program

District of Columbia - Washington DC

Department of the Environment

Florida

Department of Environmental Protection
Waste Management
Bureau of Solid and Hazardous Waste
Bureau of Petroleum Storage Systems
Department of Health - Biomedical Waste

Georgia

Department of Community Affairs - Environmental Management
Department of Natural Resources 
Environmental Protection

Guam - US Territory

Guam Environmental Protection Agency

Hawaii

Department of Health
Environmental Health
Solid and Hazardous Waste Branch

Idaho

Department of Environmental Quality
Waste Management and Remediation

Illinois

Environmental Protection Agency
Bureau of Land
Pollution Prevention

Indiana

Department of Environmental Management

Iowa

Department of Natural Resources Waste Management

Kansas

Department of Health and Environment
Division of the Environment
Bureau of Waste Management
Storage Tank Section

Kentucky

Department for Environmental Protection
Division of Waste Management
Texas Commission on Environmental Quality - Waste Index

Louisiana

Department of Environmental Quality
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Maine

Department of Environmental Protection
Remediation and Waste Management

Maryland

Department of the Environment
Recycling in Maryland

Massachusetts

Department of Environmental Protection
Recycle
Bureau of Waste Prevention

Michigan

Department of Environmental Quality
Waste and Hazardous Materials Division

Minnesota

Pollution Control Agency
Waste

Mississippi

Department of Environmental Quality

Missouri

Hazardous Waste Program
Solid Waste Management Program

Montana

Department of Environmental Quality

Nebraska

Department of Environmental Quality

Nevada

Division of Environmental Protection Bureau of Waste Management

New Hampshire

Department of Environmental Services
Pollution Prevention
Household Hazardous Waste
Planning and Community Assistance (Recycling)

New Jersey

Department of Environmental Protection
Division of Solid and Hazardous Waste

New Mexico

Environment Department

New York

Department of Environmental Conservation
Division of Solid and Hazardous Materials

North Carolina

Department of Environment and Natural Resources
List of Divisions

North Dakota

Department of Health
Division of Waste Management

Ohio

Environmental Protection Agency
Division of Hazardous Waste Management
Division of Solid and Infectious Waste Management

Oklahoma

Department of Environmental Quality
Land Protection Division

Oregon

Department of Environmental Quality
Land Quality Division
Hazardous Waste Program
Solid Waste Program
Underground Storage Tank Program

Pennsylvania

Bureau of Land Recycling and Waste Management
Recycling
Storage Tank Cleanup
Oil Recovery
Municipal and Residual Waste
Hazardous Waste
Household Hazardous Waste

Puerto Rico - US Commonwealth

Autoridad de Desperdicios Solidos (Solid Waste Authority)

Rhode Island

Department of Environmental Management Office of Waste Management

South Carolina

Department of Health and Environmental Control
Bureau of Land and Waste Management
Bureau of Underground Storage Tank Management

South Dakota

Department of the Environment and Natural Resources
Waste Management Program

Tennessee

Department of Environment and Conservation
Division of Solid and Hazardous Waste Management

Texas

Texas Commission on Environmental Quality - Waste Index

Trust Territories

Marshall Islands
Micronesia

Utah

Department of Environmental Quality
Division of Solid and Hazardous Waste

Vermont

Agency of Natural Resources
Waste Management -Solid, Hazardous, Radioactive, and Recycling

Virginia

Department of Environmental Quality
Recycling and Litter Prevention
Waste Management

Washington

State Department of Ecology
Hazardous Waste & Toxics Reduction Program
Solid Waste and Financial Assistance Program

Washington DC - The District of Columbia

Department of the Environment

West Virginia

Division of Environmental Protection
Division of Land Restoration
Infectious Medical Waste Program

Wisconsin

Department of Natural Resources Waste Management Program

Wyoming

Department of Environmental Quality Solid and Hazardous Waste Division