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How to Recycle an Old Office Chair? 3 Ways To Consider

How to Recycle an Old Office Chair? 3 Ways To Consider

Do you have an old office chair that you’re no longer using?

Is it taking up space in your home office or storage room?

Well, perhaps it’s time to get rid of it and free up some space…

But how are you going to do that?

You’ve tried leaving it out for the garbage truck to pick up…

…but they just drove past it!

Don’t lose heart though! Recycling your old office chair might take a little more work than expected… but it can be done!

There are three ways in which you can recycle your old office chair.

And in this article, we’re going to dive into each of those 3 ways…

So keep reading!

1. Recycle Your Old Office Chair

recycle old office chair

Before you can take your office chair to any recycling center, you must first strip the chair down. You will need to segregate the metals, plastics, and fabrics.

You can read this article to learn how to take apart an office chair.

Metal Parts

Most office chairs have a lot of metal parts which makes it easy to recycle. The seat frame, the undercarriage, the gas lift, and the screws and bolts are all made of metal.

You can take these parts to a scrap metal dealer. Your dealer will melt them and turn them into other products that will be more useful.

Wood/Chipboard Parts

The base of the seat and backrest of an office chair are typically made from wood or chipboard.

These materials are usually glued together and varnished or painted, which makes them dangerous to recycle.

Glues and paints often contain formaldehyde and other chemicals that are toxic. If the treated wood or chipboard is burned in a fire pit, these harmful chemicals will be released into the air.

If you cannot reuse the wood or chipboard parts of your old office chair, the only thing you can do is to take them to your local landfill.

Rigid Plastic Parts

Recycling the rigid plastic parts of an office chair is actually more difficult than you might expect.

One of the reasons for this is because there is no easy way to find out what type of plastics are in the chair. You won’t be able to drop these parts in the recycling bin for plastics.

There are, however, recycling centers that will accept rigid plastics parts. Make sure to call your local recycling center to find out.

Textile Parts

There is also no good way to find out what materials are used in the textile parts of your old office chair.

They can be made from either polyester, cotton, or a combination of both. They can also be made from something entirely different.

This makes it difficult to recycle. The easiest option might be to take these to your local landfill as well.

The cushion stuffings, however, will likely be accepted at your local mattress recycler.

2. Repair and Reuse Your Old Office Chair

If you don’t want to take your chair apart and bring it to your local recycling center, you also have the option to repair and reuse it.


Damaged office chair

If the only damage to your office chair is a worn-out seat, reupholstering the seat will be the easiest way to restore it.

You can take your office chair to your local upholstery shop to have it professionally upholstered. You will get to choose any type of material you want to give it a fresh new look.

If you’re somewhat of an upholsterer yourself, you may do the job right at home. Make sure you have the right tools for the job like this upholstery kit by C.S Osborne.

The first step is to remove the old upholstery using a sharp knife of a pair of scissors. Make sure to only cut at the seams so you can use the pattern for the new one.

Choose the type of material you will use for the new upholstery. You can choose between , , or . Then trace the patterns and cut them out.

The most difficult part will be sewing the pieces together. You will need extra patience and a very skillful hand to complete the job.

If you’re able to do the job well, your chair will look brand new when you’re done!

Alternatively, you can purchase seat covers to put over your office chair. This will cover up the worn-out seat and make it look fresh again.

There are dozens of slipcovers for office chairs in the market. You can read our review on our 7 best office chair covers here.

Read more: How To Cover An Office Chair Without Sewing?

Repairing Damage

man repairing damaged office chair

The first step in repairing a damaged office chair would be to identify the problem. The problem may be the lift, the casters, or any other part of the chair.

Once you’ve identified the problem, you can either call a professional to fix the chair for you, or you can fix it yourself.

Refer to our How to Fix Office Chairs section on our website to learn more about identifying problems and repairing them.

3. Sell or Donate Your Old Office Chair

Sell green button

Is your old office chair still in good condition? And you don’t want to go through all the trouble of recycling it or repairing it?

Well then, your next best option is to sell the chair or donate it. Just because your old office chair isn’t valuable to you anymore, doesn’t mean there’s no one out there who will want it.

You can post free advertisements on popular online marketplaces to try and sell or donate it. It won’t be long before people start inquiring about your preloved office chair.


To quickly recap what we’ve discussed in this article, here is a short bullet list.

  • Recycle: take your office chair apart, segregate the different materials, and bring them to their respective recycle centers or your local landfill.
  • Repair/Reuse: reupholster your worn-out office chair or repair any damages to give the chair a fresh new start.
  • Sell/Donate: if you want to get rid of your old office chair without having to go through the trouble of recycling or repairing, you can sell or donate the chair.

We hope this article has been helpful to you! With your new knowledge, you can now go and deal with that old office chair sitting on the corner of your room just taking up precious space!