Each year, Americans throw out more than 12 million tons of furniture and furnishings, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Only a small percentage is recycled, thanks to the diversity of materials in most items—upholstered furniture and mattresses are particularly hard to clean and reprocess. As a result, more than 9 million tons of wood, metal, glass, fabric, leather, and foam waste ends up in a landfill.
But production changes have also collided with the much-discussed lifestyle of a new and nomadic generation. Perpetual renters with meager savings, millennials—or anyone with low income who moves frequently—understandably opt for cheaper alternatives such as Ikea, where the most cut-rate couch is $149 (“more like a hammock,” one reviewer warns), or Wayfair, the e-commerce giant known for its knockoffs. When it’s time to relocate, it’s often more convenient to toss your decaying armchair or banged-up bookcase and start over from scratch than pay to move a large item to a new home.
The title of Mike Birbiglia’s latest stand-up special, “The New One,” technically refers to having a baby. But the show begins and ends with an equally important addition to the comedian’s family: his couch. In his mid-twenties, Birbiglia tells his audience, he’d finally had enough with sitting on “garbageare
The bizarre truth is that,
The New Republic