"Green" couch disposal?
February 19, 2009 11:16 PM   Subscribe

Minor dilemma re getting rid of slightly smelly couch.

So, after two quarts of nature's miracle, and 1.5 hours of cleaning and "urine treatment" from a professional, the couch still smells. (Yes, it was cat urine -- I was cat sitting a friend's cat, and my "regular" cat took offense.) Not, oh my god it's a toxic cloud of hell, but still a bit smelly. So I've decided to give up on the couch. It's comfortable and it looks okay, but I'm over trying to de-smell the thing. I have a new couch I want to buy, and I want to break up with this one.

I could call Goodwill or Salvation Army to come get the couch from the curb. But will they reject it? And -- is it wrong to give a smelly couch to a charity?

I could call a junk guy and pay $100 to cart the couch away as junk. But that probably means it goes into landfill, right? I hate to throw it away into the dump if someone could use it.

This is not the most earth-shattering question in the world, but thanks for any advice.
posted by ClaudiaCenter to Grab Bag (14 answers total)
If your city gives you trash bins call the toll free number on there and have them come pick it up.

I got rid of tons of junk, and they did it all for free - all they needed was an itemized list.
posted by TheDude at 11:21 PM on February 19, 2009

I've always been told that the general rule of thumb for Goodwill and the Salvation Army was, "would you give it to a friend?" If not, then they probably don't want it / can't use it / will have to pay to get rid of it.

It's sad that your couch is probably landfill-bound, but cat urine is not a smell that really fades (or is acceptable in a piece of snuggly furniture).
posted by charmcityblues at 11:22 PM on February 19, 2009

I vote landfill. If it's too smelly for you, why would anyone else want it?
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 11:22 PM on February 19, 2009

Why not post it on Craigslist 'free' section? Say that it's a little smelly, but not too bad. Somebody will take it.
posted by defcom1 at 11:24 PM on February 19, 2009 [1 favorite]

Craigslist free section for sure. Mention where on the couch the pee area is, and that the pee is only a few days old & is probably gonna fade or be cleanable to some extent. And post photos of the couch. I bet someone will come & get it.
posted by pseudostrabismus at 11:27 PM on February 19, 2009

If you don't want to landfill it, then I think a totally honest craigslist "free" posting is perfectly okay. I got rid of a cat-scratched, dog-haired (samoyed haired!) and very ratty and otherwise not great couch that way. I was completely honest in the ad. It was shown to the prospective owner in an environment where it was clear it was crap (that is, enough light). They still took it (college students).
posted by R343L at 11:36 PM on February 19, 2009

Yes. Craigslist free (or cheap) posting. I actually paid $30 for my stanky couch just because I wanted something I could reupholster. God only knows what the college student I bought it from did to it in its lifetime (or why his mom actually didn't want him to get rid of it), but it was cheap, and the new foam and fabric I bought for it later took care of the reek.
posted by katillathehun at 12:02 AM on February 20, 2009

Response by poster: Okay, I put it on Craig's List, we'll see. I hate to throw a giant couch into the dump. (There's a recycling place here for beds and bedframes -- they take 'em apart and recycle the materials -- but I don't think they do couches.)
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 12:44 AM on February 20, 2009

Depending on the furniture store, they might take the old sofa away for you if you buy from them and have it delivered. You might check into it if CL falls through.

I had to reread the title twice. I didn't read "couch" the first time. :-)
posted by Silvertree at 5:51 AM on February 20, 2009

Here in Boulder there's tradition of shoving it into the street and setting it on fire, especially on finals weekend.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 6:05 AM on February 20, 2009

Is re-upholstery totally out of the question? If so, you could do what they do around here: Put it on the curb or in another common area with a 'Free' sign on it. Probably only a good idea if there is no rain/snow in the forecast for a few days.
posted by ArgentCorvid at 6:23 AM on February 20, 2009

I put a completely cat scratched, cat hair covered couch and loveseat on Craigslist for free. A guy came the same day and took them. He wanted them for his dog. He said had a huge mastiff, and he goes through a few couches a year. I have never posted anything CL for free that didn't garner at least 10 responses almost immediately.
posted by peep at 8:31 AM on February 20, 2009

Just a data point, but we tried to donate a couch to Goodwill in Baltimore and they said they're rejecting all upholstered products, due to bedbugs.
posted by electroboy at 8:32 AM on February 20, 2009

You want to contact Sunset Scavenger. They pick up for free.

When my gf got rid of her bedbuggy furniture, they asked if it was all infested. She said "Yes, of course, that's why I'm getting rid of it." They explained that they wanted to know whether it was buggy not for their own protection, but because they get rid of a lot of furniture through resale. If it's in good condition, it's probably not going to the dump.
posted by mudpuppie at 11:49 AM on February 20, 2009

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