Recycling & Donating Unwanted Toys

Now Christmas is over for another year, if you’re anything like me, you may be thinking about all the excess toys and games you have in your home that your children no longer play with. Even as a childminder, there are a limit to what the children I care for will play with.

If you weren’t organised enough before Christmas to have a clear out, now is probably a great time to do it.

So, one of the questions you may ask is…

Can I recycle toys?

Unfortunately, your local council or recycling centre is unlikely to collect unwanted toys for recycling. Having said that, if you are willing to carefully dismantle any toys made of hard plastic and separate them from the metal screws, these are items that recycling centres should accept for recycling.

The next question you may ask is…

What else can I do with them?

The simplest answer is that you could donate them. If they are still in a usable condition and safe for another child to use you could pass then on as a donation to:

• Younger nieces, nephews, cousins or grandchildren
• Local playgroups or nurseries, who are always looking for new toys
• Charity shops or charities that collect toys for children in developing countries
• The children’s wards or specialist child centres in hospitals
• Children’s homes or orphanages
• Churches, family refuges, homeless shelters and social services

There are so many children across the UK and around the world who are less fortunate who could be given the opportunity to enjoy and play with any unwanted toys so that they end up having a longer shelf-life.

When you donate toys that are no longer of use, but are still in perfect working order you’ll be putting a smile on a child’s face and helping them to get the same enjoyment from that toy that your child did when they played with it.

If you are considering selling your children’s toys, you could potentially have a jumble or car-boot sale, or advertise them on Ebay, Gumtree, Amazon or your local newspaper.

Here are a few other organisations you could try:

• Toys for Life – who are dedicated to the re-use and recycling of unwanted plastic toys
• Poverty Child – who have a Parcelforce collection service so that you can donate your old toys and then they will sell them to create cash for their charitable projects
• The Toy Project – recycles your unwanted new and used TOYS and gives them to children who need them

There’s really no reason to have your house filled with toys that are still useful, broken or unwanted when there’s so many ways to re-use or recycle them.

Some children can get very sentimental about toys they’ve had for a long time and not want to give them away. Depending on the toy, you may agree, but if you can explain how much happiness they will bring to a child who’s unwell or less fortunate, they may be willing to let their toys go.

Why not get them involved and ask them to choose a charity or children’s organisation that would love to give their toys to. Do some online research or check out the links above, and you’ll be on your way to a clearer ‘toy reduced’ home in no time!

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