Perhaps you’re moving, had a frenetic Marie Kondo session, are annoyed by your growing collection of blunt kitchen knives, or you simply need to dispose of old furniture or broken household appliances, but how do you go about getting rid of items that you can’t sell on Dubizzle or fit in the bin? Sometimes, one man’s junk simply cannot be turned into treasure, so how do you go about disposing of such unwanted items, and how do you do so in an environmentally-friendly way?
Without a self-service recycling depot or a drive-in junkyard that can be commonly found in other countries, consumers can be left looking at their broken-down washing machine scratching their heads in bemusement. What to do with it? Bury it in the desert? Ummm … no. Dump it on the pavement? Hmmm … people do, but don’t be that person. Sell it? Also no, that’s morally wrong if you know the appliance is dud. Here at Home Club ME, we’ve done our research to find you the best options for disposing of bulky junk such as old furniture and electrical household goods that have seen better days.
Dubai Municipality Waste Management Department
To help keep the emirate clean, Dubai Municipality’s Waste Management Department is a free service for residents to use if they need to get rid of bulk home waste, either from your home or from around your community, if you see that someone has fly-tipped their rubbish. The department does its best to salvage items that are in good condition for refurb and reuse, while anything that cannot be recycled goes to the landfill. Note that this service is for bulk waste only — for items that cannot be disposed of in a standard waste container. This service is ideal for large household appliances such as washing machines, fridge-freezers and dishwashers that no longer work, as well as old sofas and wardrobes, etc, that you don’t want or cannot sell online. Call 800900 for more information. However, if you have smaller electrical goods like a blender or a toaster which will fit in a bin but you want to dispose of them in a more eco-friendly way than the landfill, read on for more options.
Take My Junk
Also offering free services, Take My Junk does exactly what its name suggests, and they come up top in a Google search into disposing of junk in the UAE. Take My Junk started as a two-man band a decade ago, and now services the whole country and helps residents and businesses alike to get rid of unwanted items, including electrical household goods. If furniture can be salvaged, Take My Junk will repair, refurbish and sell these items in an effort to prevent household goods unnecessarily going to the landfill. Its pre-loved furniture wares (and much more) are on display for sale in four warehouses, spanning 75,000 square feet, in Ajman, where bargain hunters can furnish a whole house on a small budget, should they need to.
The Smash Room
Moving house can be stressful … so why not vent your frustrations and get rid of your unwanted appliances at the same time! The Smash Room in Al Quoz, Dubai, is like a fun, physical anger-therapy session, where you can smash up old TVs, laptops and glassware, relieving any stress that you might be feeling, helping you to feel better and generally have a smashing good time! Packages include sessions where you can smash up a mix of glass and electrical items, so this is a great place to donate your unwanted household appliances and electronics, from an old microwave to a dud PlayStation.
Upcycle via Facebook
If you have items of kids’ furniture covered in doodles and paint daubs that you know you can’t sell, try an upcycling group on Facebook — there are many refurb hobbyists and professionals out there who love to get their hands on secondhand furniture with renovation potential. Try the Dubai Annie Sloan Furniture Renovation Group — it’s a private group so you’ll need to answer some simple questions about why you want to join, and the group’s rules state that you should only post items of furniture to sell that can be used for renovation projects. If your throwaways aren’t good enough, FreeCycle (which has dedicated Dubai and Abu Dhabi Facebook groups) is designed for those who wish to donate or pick up items for free that can be used; note, the FreeCycle groups are not for junk. If you need to dispose of electrical goods that no longer work, we advise pursuing one of the other options listed.
You Call We Haul
Covering Sharjah only, You Call We Haul is a free removal service for large items and household goods, operated by Bee’ah, an environmental management company established in Sharjah. You Call We Haul will assess your unwanted items for any materials that can be recycled, such as wood, foam, metal, glass and textiles, and (through Bee’ah) the items will be dismantled and the necessary parts recycled. Anything that cannot be recycled goes to the landfill. Simply fill in the You Call We Haul form online and attach photos of the items you wish to shift.
Share Our Blessings, Emirates Red Crescent
This service is for residents in Abu Dhabi who wish to dispose of unwanted furniture while exercising an element of social responsibility. Emirates Red Crescent is a charity project established in Abu Dhabi, and its Share Our Blessings initiative takes unwanted furniture (and clothes) from residents, hotels, offices, and other ventures, and repurposes them for use amongst those in need. This is a great way to ‘give back’ and help poor families, especially if your unwanted items are still functional. Donors can share photos of their items on WhatsApp and the charity’s partner E-Movers will collect them for free. If items are deemed unfit for donation to a needy family, E-Movers will still collect them for a fee, and take those items onto the municipality’s landfill.
While the above options are free, you can opt to dispose of bulk waste via a facility management company such as Imdaad. Fees start from AED300 with the cost covering collection and removal of your unwanted items, recycling of any suitable items, and the disposal of broken and unsalvageable items at a landfill. The advantage of a paying for a service such as this is that the company will collect whatever items you wish to get rid of, while some free services will only take bulk collections, specific items, or items that can be graded for recycling or refurb, and not simply any kind of unwanted junk.
We hope you find this feature helpful if you’re tidying up or moving and need to get rid of large unwanted items. For insightful moving advice, read our series ‘The Moving Diaries’, which follows the ups and downs of an expat moving home in Dubai. If you’re no Marie Kondo and you need professional advice on decluttering, help is on hand with our recent expert interview with Gina Positano, or, you can find UAE based decluttering and organising experts via our vendor club here. Happy homemaking!