“What do we do with our old piano?”

Many piano owners have wondered what to do when an old piano is no longer wanted. This is especially hard when a piano has been owned by a member of the family for generations. The preferred options are passing the piano on to a family member, or to a young family with children enrolled in lessons. If these efforts are unsuccessful, the piano might be offered for sale on kijiji or social media, and then offered for free. Unfortunately, even when free, there are many piano owners who still cannot find a taker for the instrument. There are just too many other families in the same situation.

“What is piano recycling?”

 

After the usual route has been tried and failed, many have to consider piano removal. There are scrap companies that will remove the piano and take it to landfill. At a competitive price and as a long time supporter of recycling efforts, I have taken efforts to find new uses for piano parts, and found ways to retrieve and responsibly recycle materials that should avoid landfill. For example, there can be as much lead in a piano as an old computer monitor!. It takes time to remove lead, as well as the steel, cast iron and copper. Parts are generally not reusable as they are often the reason why the piano no longer plays well in the first place. Cabinet panels and wooden accents can be reused judicously in furniture projects. They can also be reused to repair old piano benches (which rarely last as long as the pianos themselves) or made into bookshelves and other useful items. Small projects can be commissioned from parts of the old pianos to retain a memento of the instrument, with the understanding that such projects are done as more of a hobby in evening hours.

Initial assessment, space required, time required, and price for removal.

Every situation is a little bit different but an initial visit is unnecessary; arrangements can made with a phone call and a few pictures of the home layout.
Approximately 8 foot square of floor space is recommended. The area is protected with moving blankets and the piano is put into a horizontal position. The keys and action will be removed and the heavy cast iron plate will be cut and removed.

The whole process can take from 3.5 hours to up to 5 hours, but most are in the middle.

Piano removal and recycling starts at $350 +HST. In situations where the piano cannot be disassembled where it is, moving is required and will be quoted according to the circumstances.