Reduce / Reuse / Recycle

October 5, 2008


Children's Chairs Recycled for Use by Elderly and Disabled at Japanese City's Community Centers

Keywords: Local government Reduce / Reuse / Recycle 

The city of Kofu's Council of Social Welfare in Yamanashi Prefecture in central Japan began implementation of a project in June 2008 to recycle used chairs from elementary schools for re-use by the elderly and disabled at its centers.

Most rooms open to elderly and disabled people at the city's community centers have tatami-mat floors, but they say it hurts when they have to sit on their heels, in the way most Japanese sit, so they often ask to use a chair. The council therefore decided to accept more than 70 used chairs from elementary schools where the number of pupils is decreasing and modify them for use in the centers.

Volunteers first prepared the chairs, which each consist of a wood seat and metal-pipe legs, for use at Kofu's Tamamoro Welfare Center. After the legs were shortened by about ten centimeters, a rubber pad was attached to each leg to protect the tatami mats from damage.

The redesigned chairs have been used so far at four centers in the city. Now at the proper height for the elderly, the chairs are being well received by them because they can now more easily stand up and sit down.

Posted: 2008/10/05 11:16:15 AM