When you first purchased your piano, the idea sounded like music to your ears. Whether you bought it for yourself with the hope to one day tickle the ivories like the next Mozart or your adult child left it behind when they flew the nest, the truth is that you’re currently stuck with a very large, very expensive dust collector.
No one wants to see a piano go to the landfill. It just seems like a waste of a beautifully crafted instrument. Instead, when it’s time to get rid of your old piano for good, there are plenty of options for donation – and even recycling.
Read on for some helpful tips and tricks for donating or recycling your piano, and how to spread joy through the gift of music.
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Piano Donation or Piano Recycling?
The first step to getting rid of an old piano is to figure out which option is best for you: piano donation or piano recycling?
Certain criteria have to be met when it comes to donating a piano, but far fewer requirements with piano recycling. Recycling your piano only requires that it is, in fact, a piano.
All joking aside, read on to learn how to assess the condition of your piano to determine if you should donate your old piano to a church, or have it hauled off for recycling.
Piano Donation 101
Figuring out if your piano fits the criteria for donation is the most important thing. Donating a piano, whether it’s to a nonprofit, a charity or a church, can take quite a bit of time and communication between yourself and the recipient. In other words, if you need your piano gone quickly, recycling it might be a better option.
Assessing a Piano for Donation
Every nonprofit, charity, church or school is going to have different criteria for piano donations. Although we can’t go into all of them in this article, we can give you a pretty good idea of whether contacting potential recipients would be a good idea or a complete waste of time.
Here are some things to consider about your piano when deciding between donating it or recycling it:
- All keys work and don’t get stuck. You might be able to still donate your piano if only a few keys stick, but it depends on whether or not a nonprofit is willing – or has the funds – to repair it.
- It’s mostly in tune. Tuning a piano is part of regular maintenance. An out-of-tune piano is probably not going to make people shy away from your donation. But make sure you let them know if your piano is more “out of tune” than it is “in tune”.
- It has no major damage. A few small scratches and some wear-and-tear is to be expected. But if your piano has a broken leg, a cracked key cover, chipped keys or anything similar to this, it might not be accepted for donation.
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Where to Donate a Piano
If you’ve determined your piano is in good working condition and is acceptable for donation, that’s awesome! Now you’re faced with the question about where to donate it.
For pianos that pass the above checklist with flying colors, congratulations! Your piano is fit to donate to a large variety of organizations, including:
- Senior Centers
- After-School Programs
- Social Groups
- Service Clubs
- Recreation Centers
However, if your piano’s condition is a bit sub-par, your donation options are going to be more limited. It’s more than likely that you’ll be able to donate your piano to a program that will sell it as-is or for parts, and then use that money to help support their cause. That’s still great!
There are some third-party organizations and projects that match pianos with nonprofits. This is a simple way to unload your unwanted piano. Going through a third-party might make donating your piano a little bit easier. Third-party piano donation projects have a lot of connections and resources that everyday people probably don’t have access to.
Some good third-party piano donation organizations include:
- Piano Finders
- The Beethoven Foundation
- The Salvation Army
Many of these programs will pick up your piano for free if it meets their requirements. Make sure that you are honest in your evaluation, though, because many companies will charge you for their trip if they arrive and find they are unable to accept your donation after all.
If you’d prefer to keep your donation local, try googling “piano donation near me”. You should be able to find a local program that will help place your piano with a deserving charity or organization within your state or local area.
How to Donate a Piano
Before deciding where you are going to donate your piano, it’s important to decide whether or not you want to take a tax deduction for your donation.
Donating your piano directly to a church, low-income program or school probably won’t result in a tax deduction. The only way to receive a tax deduction for your donation is to donate your piano to a tax-exempt, nonprofit organization considered by the government as a 501(c)(3).
A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization qualifies for federal tax exemption. According to the IRS, these are generally considered public charities, private foundations or private operating foundations. If it’s important to you to claim a deduction for your donation, make sure you’re looking specifically into 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations to take your piano.
Now that you’ve chosen the type of organization, it’s time to choose the mission you want your donation to support. An easy way to do this is to make a list of the potential organizations you have in mind, also making a note of the cause they support. Do some serious soul-searching, and ask yourself the following questions:
- Where do you think your donation will have the most impact?
- What cause means the most to you?
- What are your goals for this donation?
Then, make a list of the potential organizations, and pick one! Maybe one of them offers free donation pickup, and that’s important to you. Or maybe one plans to use your piano for kids that love music but can’t afford one of their own. This is a large donation, and it’s important that you feel good about it.
Piano Recycling 101
If after assessing your piano, you’ve discovered that it just doesn’t qualify for donation, then recycling your piano might be the best option for you.
A piano is recycled by breaking it down and removing parts for either reuse or recycling. The parts of your piano that can usually be recycled include wood, steel wire, cast iron, and screws. Since transporting a complete piano can be expensive, grueling and time-consuming work, piano recycling is generally done locally.
How to Recycle an Old Piano
Finding a local piano recycler can be a bit of a challenge, but it isn’t impossible. There are some electronics recyclers that might be able to recycle your piano for you. However, this could include having to transport the piano yourself to the recycling facility.
If you’re unable to disassemble or transport a piano to a recycling center yourself, an
Junk Removal Companies and Piano Disposal
There are four critical things to keep in mind when using a junk removal company to find your piano a new home:
- Will they take it directly to the landfill or do they offer eco-friendly alternatives like donation and recycling?
- Do they have the proper tools and experience?
- Are they licensed and insured?
- Will they provide you a fair, guaranteed quote or do they require an on-site estimate?
You run a potential risk hiring a junk removal company without experience picking up and hauling away pianos for donation or recycling. Moving a piano requires certain tools, strength, and know-how to get it out of your home and onto a truck safely. Removing a piano isn’t only difficult and a little dangerous, but doing it incorrectly could result in damage to your home.
Another thing to consider is whether or not the junk removal company is going to give you a fair price. Unlike most other junk removal companies, LoadUp doesn’t require an on-site visit to provide you with a quote. As a leader of the industry, we have revolutionized junk removal by providing our customers with exceptional, honest, transparent service. On-site estimates are often a tactic to raise the service price. We don’t do that.
Where Do I Find Piano Disposal Near Me?
If you’re wondering where to find a reliable piano disposal service near you, good question! Disposing of a piano is much trickier than getting rid of your average load of junk, and not every junk removal company is qualified to remove a piano. Piano disposal requires a team of strong movers who have a piano board, furniture dolly or other methods of removing and transporting upright, spinet and baby grand pianos.
As a nationwide junk removal service with a network of locally-based junk haulers (referred to as “Loaders”), LoadUp offers faster, more affordable services for customers across the country. With piano disposal and general junk removal rates at 20-30% less than average, LoadUp offers a cheaper service without compromising on quality or professionalism.
Not only do our Loaders have the experience and tools for removing your piano, but they also covered under our $1M insurance policy. You can rest assured knowing your home and everything inside of it is covered in the slim case that any damage occurs during the removal process. We’re not saying that it’s going to, but it is always better to be safe than sorry, right? Not every junk removal company can say that!
To get started with our professional piano removal and disposal services, please give us a call at (844) 239-7711. Prefer to keep it digital? You can also get your no-obligation, upfront quote online! To get started, visit our online booking system, enter your zip code and select your piano from the drop-down menu.