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Keeping furniture out of the dumpster

The City of Columbus Department of Public Service, Division of Refuse Collection, plans to schedule bulk trash pickups at OSU this spring. Credit: William Kosileski | Senior Lantern Reporter

The City of Columbus Department of Public Service, Division of Refuse Collection, plans to schedule bulk trash pickups at OSU this spring. Credit: William Kosileski | Senior Lantern Reporter

At the end of every Spring Semester, large furniture, such as couches, mattresses and futons, is seen near dumpsters and in alleys throughout the off-campus areas near Ohio State, abandoned by students moving out.

The City of Columbus Department of Public Service’s Division of Refuse Collection is making the effort to encourage individuals, especially OSU students, to make the proper arrangements in order to get rid of their large furniture and to prevent the potential hazards that might result from disposing it improperly.

“The City of Columbus works hard every day to keep our streets and alleys clean and free of debris, but the city cannot do it alone,” Jeff Ortega, assistant director of the public service department, said in an email. “We need residents, students, landlords and others to do their part by not leaving old furniture in the alleys and by scheduling a city bulk pickup, or making other arrangements to safely and responsibly discard of used and old furniture.”

Ortega said that leaving these large items by dumpsters and in alleys in the off-campus areas surrounding OSU can potentially be a hazard for the safety and health of the people in the neighborhood.

“Large furniture items left outside of dumpsters and in alleys can be fodder for vandalism and can possibly be set on fire, or they can be infested with pests such as rodents and the like,” he said.

Instead of leaving couches, carpets, futons or other large furniture items out in the neighborhood dumpster, Ortega said that there are much better alternatives available to residents.

In 2014, there were more than 86,000 scheduled bulk collections, or about 19,700 tons, picked up citywide by the city’s bulk-collection services. Additionally, in 2013, they picked up more than 85,400 bulk collections citywide, which is about 18,290 tons, Ortega said.

He also suggested that students consider donating their used furniture to charitable organizations if they do not schedule a pickup by the city.

Aaron Bishop, a fifth-year in environmental science, said that students should not leave their bulk-trash items where they would normally put their garbage.

“Leaving furniture by dumpsters and in other places off-campus is definitely a hazard, and they shouldn’t be there. Somebody could be driving through an alley or a tight space and turn a corner and run into a couch,” he said. “If I were to get rid of some furniture, I would definitely call and set up for (my furniture) to be picked up.”

Looking ahead, Ortega said that the city is looking to schedule pickups for OSU students when they move out of their houses and apartments at the end of this Spring Semester.

“During the summer and before the Autumn Semester begins, the City of Columbus will schedule an annual special bulk-trash pickup in the OSU area as students move out and move in before the new academic year begins at OSU,” Ortega said.

Bulk pickup of large furniture items can be scheduled by calling the City of Columbus 311 Customer Service Center at 614-645-3111 or visiting the city’s website.


  1. engineering student

    A pair of sledgehammer and crowbar, plus some elbow grease can easily solve this issue.

  2. Donate to the Furniture Bank! They will pickup if you call a week or so before you need it gone!

  3. Thanks for sharing. It may not seem like one couch or one chair might take up so much space to one person, but once more people follow along and add their furniture to a dumpster area, it can become a problem. Good call by the city.

  4. Really an amazing IDEA Liz. I agree with every sentence you written about, I am sure you have some more post about it. Thanks for writing specially for Classroom furniture specially for Students.

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