Friday will mark the 10th year in a row the City of Manhattan has put on Furniture Amnesty Day, the day-long event allowing residents to dispose of unwanted furniture and for others to select donated furniture for free.
Volunteers will accept furniture drop-offs in City Park from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. while sign-ups for furniture selection will start at 8 a.m. Residents can choose furniture from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Brad Claussen, assistant chief of risk reduction and code service at the Manhattan Fire Department, said he has volunteered for the event every year since its start. He estimated that about 600 pieces of furniture were donated and picked from last year.
Claussen said the event began a decade ago in “response to lots of unwanted furniture that comes from when everyone moves out this time of year.”
Lacy Pitts, student body vice president and a city manager’s office intern, working to plan the project this year, which is always held on the last Friday of July.
Pitts, senior in agricultural economics, called the furniture rehoming event Manhattan’s annual “unofficial start to the school year.”
“Furniture Amnesty Day was created to dispose of furniture in the correct way,” Pitts said. “It was created to be at the end of July when lots of students are ending leases and moving out. It’s a way to get rid of furniture so it can go to new apartments.”
Pitts said there are usually 50 volunteers who pick furniture from curbs around town, load and unload trucks, aid residents who are browsing in the park and help load residents’ vehicles. Some of these volunteers are supplied by event partners HandsOn Kansas State and the Konza United Way.
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The deadline for residents to sign up for pick-up service is tonight at 5. Request forms are available through the Furniture Amnesty Day web page. Crews of volunteers will drive the trucks around starting at 7 a.m. Friday.
Organizers ask that people refrain from donating electrical items, aside from lamps, because they can be damaged and it can be hard to tell if they work without testing them. Grills, TVs and dishwashers, for example, are not accepted.
“We always have to tell people we do not want anything that plugs into the wall,” Claussen said. “That’s basically the way we judge that.”
Claussen said there is always an abundance of couches, recliners, bed frames and headboards to choose from during Furniture Amnesty Day. This year, Pitts said she would like to see more desks.
“One thing I know is we have not gotten a lot of desks, and that is something a lot of students are looking for this time of year,” Pitts said. “So if anyone has desks to donate, that would be appreciated.”
Also on the list of acceptable donations are coffee tables, entertainment centers, end tables, dressers, mattresses and kitchen tables.