Furniture is often talked about in binary terms: either it’s shiny and new or it’s urban blight. Furniturecycle expands on this reductive narrative by bearing witness to a more complicated reality. Its creator, Jamie Facciola, is an award-winning social-entrepreneur, amateur upholsterer, critical observer, and official friend to the discarded.
This case study, Furniture Waste as a Catalyst for Equitable, Place-Based, Circular Economies, was born out of a passion project that documented street furniture in one San Francisco Bay Area neighborhood for more than a year. It quantifies what was left on the curb, dives into systemic barriers, and proposes an alternative model to disposal first, that’s place-based and community-focused.
While this data doesn't represent all communities, its lessons can provoke curiosity everywhere. With over 80% of US furniture going to the landfill, asking questions such as who gets to determine what is considered waste, and why, are long overdue.
This case study is intended to inform perspectives and expand possibilities in order to shift the culture and policies that will govern the future of discarded furniture.
If you want to read the full report, download a free copy here.
scenes from the streets.
Bulky waste pickup in Oakland, CA
A bulky waste pickup is a free service for Oakland residents. Its objective is to keep the streets clean and reduce illegal dumping. When a dump truck appears, however, it is immediately obvious that these materials are not being picked up, but pulverized. While perhaps useful in some instances, used indiscriminately—especially for unwanted but usable furniture—it comes with severe consequences. The forced destruction of usable materials destroys any opportunity to extend the material’s life, create jobs, furnish homes, support local economies, and align our actions with our waste, equity, and climate goals. Who is solving for what? Who is being left out? Why?