Collecting and Recycling Used Furniture and Homeware

English | 中文

Green Dot Home Limited 家點綠 https://www.green-dot-home.com.hk/

Established in 2012, Green Dot Home Limited is a certified NGO promoting waste reduction and sustainable living by collecting, recycling and reselling second-hand furniture and homeware. Set up in collaboration with Friends of the Earth (HK), Green Dot Home Limited collects furniture from donors, and cleans, repairs or upcycles them before selling them at a profit or passing them to those in need.

The Challenges
On average, over 15,600 tonnes of municipal solid waste is discarded every day in Hong Kong. This is equivalent to the weight of 1,067 double-decker buses and puts immense pressure on the available landfills. Due to rising housing prices and space constraints in Hong Kong, many people are often forced to discard furniture, despite the items’ good condition. The key challenge is to encourage the reuse and recycling of unwanted furniture and to normalise the use of second-hand furniture in society.

The Solution
Green Dot Home adds value to discarded furniture and extends their usefulness and life cycle by repairing and reselling them. Green Dot Home operates on a self-sustainable business model that aims to turn recycled furniture into profit. The company collects a wide range of unwanted furniture or homewares (e.g. office chairs, book shelves, dining tables, etc.) that are still in good and usable condition. The company then applies the 4R process—renew, restore, revitalise and recycle—to the used furniture. By selling the restored or repaired furniture often at less than half the original price, Green Dot Home contributes to easing the pressure on Hong Kong’s landfills and encourages societal acceptance of second-hand items. To streamline the process, the company operates the Go Green Shop, an online platform for people to search and view the available second-hand furniture. This provides an alternative to conventional stores, which leaves the owners to discard their unwanted furniture if they are unable to find a buyer.

The Impact
Since its establishment, Green Dot Home has scaled up from its previously 7,000 sq. ft. warehouse space to its current 14,000 sq. ft. warehouse and storefront. The wastefulness of Hongkongers is clearly evident, with the company having to turn away a large number of collection requests due to the lack of storage space. Now employing two professional designers to carry out furniture repair and upcycling, four full-time logistics staff, several collection teams and two trucks, the company’s growth further points to an increasing societal acceptance of recycling, buying and using second-hand items. Green Dot home receives approximately 580 pieces of furniture per month, of which around 430 pieces would be sold, and 50 pieces would be donated to those in need. In addition to donating furniture to less privileged families, the company also donate a portion of its proceeds to local welfare charities. Commended for the ability of its innovative solutions to concurrently address multiple social challenges, Green Dot Home Limited was awarded Champion in the International Symposium: Discovery and Idea Incubation for Realisable and Scalable Social Impact competition in 2013, organised by the City University of Hong Kong.