How Seats and Are Green

A business based on recycling

What happens to the old chairs from movie theaters and auditoriums? Unfortunately, most are destined for landfills. It’s been especially easy for to go green: Its original business model was based on recycling old theater chairs salvaged from movie houses. Owner Charles Emmerson says that salvaging 3,000 chairs – what he calls a “small” project – saves about three 40-yard-long dumpsters of old chairs from ending up in a landfill. But it wasn’t all altruism, of course. “Necessity is the mother of invention,” Emmerson says. Faced with paying 30 cents a chair destined to go to a landfill versus paying 10 cents a chair to salvage, Emmerson chose the latter.

And yet, like most business owners, Emmerson is proud of the company’s green efforts, which extend beyond recycling chairs. “Like any company, we try to use less paper and keep everything electronic, even our brochures and catalogs.” Emmerson says.

When a customer calls and requests samples, e-mails PDF files of samples. Thanks to technology, the files come close to showing not only the color but even the texture of fabric swatch.  “You’re not going to be able to feel it or smell it, but that’s coming,” he adds.