Skip to Navigation
University of Pittsburgh
Print This Page Print this pages

April 17, 2008

OPDC wants your cast-off furniture

Spring cleaning? Don’t put that old chair or sofa out on the curb.

An Oakland nonprofit organization is helping to clean up areas near Pitt’s campus by recycling cast-off furniture — and welcomes contributions from Pitt staff and faculty.

Each year, as Pitt students vacate their off-campus residences at the end of spring term, large numbers of discarded pieces —desks, dressers, tables, chairs — are strewn about the neighborhood, abandoned to scavengers and the whims of weather, often ending up in landfills.

To help solve the problem, the Oakland Planning and Development Corp. (OPDC) two years ago began a program of collecting and reselling abandoned furniture. This year OPDC will begin scouring south and central Oakland on April 25, gathering salvageable pieces and restoring them in preparation for a furniture sale Aug. 22-24. The sale will take place in the courtyard area outside OPDC’s office located at the rear of 235 Atwood Street.

Collections will continue throughout the summer on every other Friday beginning May 9, said Kelly Wawrzeniak, OPDC community organizer.

Pitt faculty and staff are welcome to join the recycling effort by donating items to the furniture sale, Wawrzeniak said. “We will be accepting items like tables, chairs, dressers, desks, couches and lamps. We will not be taking mattresses, bed frames or smaller household items such as pots and pans or plates,” she said. “We will be using a box truck to pick up the furniture. Donors can also drop their items off at our Atwood Street office during our furniture recycling kickoff weekend (April 25-28) if it is more convenient. We will travel outside of the area to pick up items for those living within a five-mile radius.”

OPDC reserves the right to refuse any donation based on condition, weight or type of item, she added.

To schedule a pickup date and time, contact Lisa Morris at 412/621-7863 ext. 23.

Last year the pickup effort netted more than 400 items, selling for approximately $6,400. That money is being used to fund this year’s expenses for the recycling program, including truck rental, furniture repairs and cleaning, and advertising for the sale.

“The furniture recycling program continues to gain momentum throughout the community each year. As we increase our inventory, we are decreasing the amount of salvageable furniture that is being thrown into Dumpsters and landfills,” said Wawrzeniak.

“The items we sell at the Oakland furniture sale are perfect for everyone living in and around the neighborhood because you get a great item for an affordable price while making a positive impact on the environment through recycling.”

OPDC’s 2008 furniture recycling program is sponsored by PNC Foundation, with support from PNC Bank and the Pittsburgh Partnership for Neighborhood Development. Partners in the effort include Moore Self Storage and Enterprise Commercial Truck Rentals and RIDC Park, which has donated warehouse storage space.

More information is available online at

—Peter Hart

Leave a Reply