Is It Illegal to Leave Furniture on the Street? (We Checked)

Is It Illegal to Leave Furniture on the Street

Seeing furniture on the side of the street is common and sometimes even a little exciting if you’re looking for an excellent second-hand piece to add to your home. Unfortunately, however, not all furniture left on the side of the street is done legally. 

Leaving furniture on the street is illegal if your city does not have a bulky item pick-up service. However, if your city does, it is still illegal if you do not follow the guidelines of the pick-up service. 

Therefore, it is imperative to know the rules of furniture disposal before you get rid of your items. Thankfully, we have outlined all the laws affiliated with this and even let you know other ways to dispose of your furniture. Let’s dive in! 

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Here’s a Quick Pro Tip!

Thankfully, many cities have furniture pick-up services that take your furniture off your hands whether it is still in one piece or broken.

For any broken furniture, you might have, using industrial-sized contractor bags is a great way to keep all of your pieces in one bag for quick and easy pick-up.

The Rules of the Road – Leaving Furniture on the Street

Getting rid of furniture yourself is difficult to do especially when you don’t own a truck or have a lot of manpower to carry it. So most people leave their furniture on the side of the street. But is this okay?

Can I Leave Old Furniture on the Street?

Your city may have a service that picks up bulk items for disposal. However, these services can be limited and only operate once a month or even a few times a year.

It is important to check with your local service provider to find out if there is a bulk item pick-up service in your area. If you live in a city, this is very likely. However, services may be less available in some rural regions. 

Be sure to read over the regulations for the items that can be picked up. Any items over a certain size typically require an appointment to be made before being picked up. 

Can You Leave a Couch on the Sidewalk

Depending on where you live, leaving a couch on the sidewalk may be okay. Most cities have a bulk item pick-up service that will take care of the couch for you. 

However, you need to check with your service provider’s guidelines to see if your couch is suitable for pickup.

For example, in New York City, anything longer than four feet is considered oversized and requires an appointment to be made for a special truck to pick it up. 

Can I Just Leave a Couch on the Curb?

Although it may appear that many people just leave their couches on the curb, this is actually considered illegal dumping in most areas and you can get fined for doing so.

However, leaving your couch on the curb to be picked up by your local waste management service is completely fine. Some cities have this designated service, and as long as you follow the guidelines, you won’t get in trouble. 

What Happens If You Leave Furniture on the Street?

If you leave furniture on the street illegally, whether that be before bulky item pick-up times or in an undesignated pick-up area, you may face legal implications.

Leaving furniture on the street illegally is considered a form of littering, called illegal dumping. This crime can have some severe consequences that you’re going to want to avoid as much as possible. 

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How to Avoid Illegal Dumping

Illegal dumping is the number one thing you want to avoid when getting rid of your furniture. This crime holds hefty fines and even some jail time that any lack of effort is simply not worth. 

What Is Considered Illegal Dumping

Illegal dumping is the disposal of waste, anything from garbage to furniture, in a place that is not designated for waste disposal. This includes the street, waterways, or private or public property.

You can get charged with illegal dumping if you place your furniture on the street within a timeframe that is not designated for bulk item pick-up. 

So, if the next bulk item pick-up is scheduled for July, but your couch has been on the street since early April, you could get charged for illegal dumping. 

Is Dumping a Crime?

Dumping is a crime associated with hefty fines and possible jail time. In addition, leaving waste where it does not belong can affect an area’s sanitary conditions, leading to consequent health issues. 

Plus, we all know how terrible a bunch of old furniture looks lining a street. But worse, it can attract unwanted critters such as rats and raccoons to set up shop and start making the couch their new home. 

These critters can carry unwanted diseases and make their way through a neighborhood, causing mayhem. This could all be avoided if you dispose of your furniture correctly. 

How Much Do You Get Fined for Dumping Rubbish?

The fine for illegal dumping varies depending on where you live, what you dumped, and where you dumped it. But, you can expect to be fined anything from $100 – $25,000.

We all know how illegal littering is, and dumping furniture is no exception to this crime. If you get caught illegal dumping, you can face fines up to $25,000 and even spend up to one year in jail. 

If that happens to you, you’ll wish you took the extra effort to get rid of your couch legally. 

What Will Happen if I Leave My Couch on the Street?

If you leave your couch on the street for pick-up within your city’s designated large item pick-up time, your couch will be picked up hassle-free. But, if you fail to check the schedule, you might get charged with illegal dumping.

The law takes littering very seriously, and although your couch isn’t a bag of chips, it’s still considered littering, but worse, dumping.

And unfortunately, a couch won’t just blow away, so it’s very likely the cops will know it’s yours. 

They may let you off with a warning and let you know how you can dispose of the couch properly. But, if they catch you on a bad day, you might get fined. 

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Specific Curbside Laws in Major Cities 

Laws regarding waste management vary from city to city. Here we have outlined some specific rules for curbside pick up of furniture in Boston and LA. 

Can I Leave Furniture on the Curb in Boston?

The city of Boston allows you to place the furniture for pick up on regular trash days. The furniture can be left out five days before garbage day for your convenience. 

This is excellent news for the people of Boston. You do not need to schedule any bulk item pick-ups or wait a long time for the next one to roll around. 

However, the city clearly states that this only allows for furniture. Therefore, any appliances such as washing machines and TVs require a separate pick-up appointment. 

Can You Leave Furniture on the Curb in LA?

Los Angeles does not allow you to leave any furniture on the curb unless you make an appointment by dialing 311. You may get charged with illegal dumping if you do not make an appointment. 

But thankfully, you can call the city to come and pick up your furniture for free. The city says to call 311 at least one day before your regular trash collection day.

The bureau of sanitation will then come and remove your furniture from the curb. 

Does LA Charge for Bulky Item Pickup?

Thankfully, LA does not charge for bulky item pickup. Instead, they offer a free service of picking up your bulky items from your curb if you call 311 and make an appointment. 

You have to call at least one day before your regular trash collection day. This gives the bureau of sanitation enough time to plan their route and have the right resources available. 

Can I Leave a Couch on the Curb in NYC?

To dispose of a couch longer than four feet in NYC, you have to book a large item pick-up appointment. This is a free service provided by the city. If you fail to book an appointment and just leave your couch on the street you may be fined. 

Booking an appointment to have your couch picked up is crucial to avoid legal action being taken against you. If you choose just to leave your couch on the curb, you may be charged with illegal dumping. 

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How to Properly Dispose of Furniture

Now that we have determined that leaving your furniture on the side of the street isn’t as easy as simply hauling it out there as soon as you’re ready to get rid of it, let’s learn how you can properly dispose of your furniture. 

How Do You Throw Away Furniture

Thankfully, there are several different ways you can get rid of furniture. Some are easy as leaving it at your curb during bulk item pick-up days or as tricky as loading it in your car and taking it to a landfill yourself. 

Whichever way you choose, just make sure you follow the local laws to avoid doing something you might not know is illegal. 

Here are some great ways to get rid of furniture:

  1. Rent a dumpster if you have extra-large pieces or a lot of furniture to get rid of.
  2. Leave it at your curb but only during designated bulk item pick-up times.
  3. Hire a junk removal service but do your research first, as this service can add up.
  4. Take it to a landfill yourself but first check that it is open for public dumping.

What Is the Easiest Way to Dispose of Furniture?

The easiest way to dispose of furniture is to sell it online if it is still in good condition. Or, haul it to your sidewalk to be picked up during bulky item pick-up service days.

If your furniture is still in good condition, consider making an ad for it and posting it online in your local marketplace.

In the ad, be sure to state that you do not offer drop-off services and that the seller has to remove the furniture themselves once they buy it.

This ensures that all you have to do is make an ad for the furniture and then receive payment! The seller is responsible for removing the item from your place and transporting it to their home. 

How Do You Dispose of Broken Furniture?

You can dispose of broken furniture by leaving it on the side of your curb for local bulky item pick-up. Or, if you can break down your furniture, you might be able to leave it for regular waste disposal pick-up. 

If you can break down your furniture enough to fit it in regular garbage bags, you can leave those bags for regular garbage pick-up.

But, if your furniture is still too big, you can wait for a bulk item pick-up service provided by your city.

You also can take the broken furniture to a waste landfill site if you have the means to do so. Just ensure that site accepts public dumping before you drive there. 

How Do You Get Rid of Mattresses?

If the mattress is still in good condition, you can consider selling it in an online marketplace. New mattresses can sometimes be too expensive for some people, and they appreciate buying lightly used mattresses instead. 

But, if you believe the mattress is not in the proper condition to be sold, you can leave it at the side of your curb to get picked up. 

However, you will likely have to make a specific appointment with your waste disposal service to pick up the mattress since they are considered oversized items. 

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How Do I Get Rid of My Old Sofa?

The best way to get rid of your old sofa is to recycle it by donating it to a local charitable organization or thrift store. This will keep your carbon footprint down by reducing landfill capacity and preventing someone from buying a new sofa.

On top of the environmental benefits of recycling furniture, you will also be making someone’s day when they find your sweet deal of a couch at the local thrift store. 

Charitable organizations and thrift stores sometimes have pick-up services in which they will come to your house and pick up the sofa for you- which makes your life very easy!

What Do You Do With Old Couches?

You have several options for getting rid of your old couch. You can either recycle it by donating it to a charitable organization. Or, if it is in poor condition, you can schedule an appointment for your city’s waste disposal service to pick it up for you. 

These appointments can typically be made online through your city’s waste management company. However, if your city does not have this service available to you or you live in a rural area, you may have to haul your couch to a local landfill site.

When these sites are in rural areas, they are more likely to accept public dumping for the convenience of the surrounding residents. But, just to be safe, call them in advance. 

How Do I Get Rid of Furniture for Free?

A great way to get rid of furniture for free is by donating it. You can either make an ad in your online marketplace or donate it to a local charitable organization or thrift store. 

Additionally, if your furniture is not in good enough condition to be reused, you can set up an appointment for your city’s waste disposal service to pick it up. These services are typically free, but it depends on where you live. 

Where Can I Throw Away Furniture for Free?

You can drive to a local charitable organization and place your furniture in their donation bin if it fits. If it does not fit, you should ask an employee to bring it into the store for you.

Unfortunately, placing a piece of furniture besides a donation bin is considered illegal dumping, and you may get in trouble with the law.

Let an employee know that you would like to donate some furniture to avoid this. They will inform you of the best place to put it.  

Can I Donate My Pieces of Big Furniture?

Donating big pieces of furniture is an excellent way to contribute to the planet’s health and give back to your community. Contact your local charitable organization and ask the best way to donate your furniture. 

Habitat for Humanity in New York City accepts lightly used furniture and then uses the furniture to furnish homes for people in need.

These families may have suffered a house fire or simply don’t have the resources to purchase new furniture. 

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Tips for Getting Rid of Furniture

The most important thing to remember when getting rid of your furniture is to ensure you are doing it legally to avoid getting charged with illegal dumping. 

Here are three tips to help you get rid of your furniture:

  1. Avoid illegal Dumping – If you want to get rid of your furniture by leaving it on the curb, check with your local waste disposal service provider to ensure you leave your furniture out during designated pick-up times. Or, you can schedule an appointment with them.
  1. Donate when you can – If you can – if your furniture is still in good condition, consider donating it to local charities or thrift stores. Again, this benefits the environment and your community. 
  1. Sell online – Selling your furniture online is easy to dispose of it with little effort involved. Just be extra careful if a stranger is visiting your place. Let a friend know if someone is coming over to look at something or have that friend be in your home. 

Related Questions

Neighbor Keeps Dumping Their Furniture on the Street

If your neighbor keeps dumping their furniture on the street, you can inform your city of the occurrence since this is illegal. However, you may want to speak to your neighbor first. 

It is always good to speak to your neighbor before involving the city or the law. It is possible they don’t know what they are doing is illegal and may appreciate you telling them. 

Offer them suggestions on what they can do with the furniture instead of leaving it on the curb. You can even offer your assistance to help them dispose of it properly because that’s what neighbors are for! 

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Final Thoughts 

Leaving furniture on the side of the streets is unsightly and can create poor sanitation quality in your area. 

If you want to dispose of your furniture correctly, make sure your city allows curbside pick-up and ensure that you are following the guidelines. 

Most importantly, donate your furniture if it is still in good condition. Charitable organizations and thrift shops will be so appreciative of your donation, and the environment will, as well!

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