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As our kids grow older, it’s only natural that they grow out of their toys. As their parent, this will often leave you with the task of deciding how to dispose of them – after all, you can’t keep all of their old toys forever! Having said that, how to properly dispose of and recycle toys can be challenging, as the task isn’t entirely straightforward. What if the toy is broken into pieces or damaged beyond reuse? In this article, we take a look at how to properly dispose of children’s toys, so you can make sure you’re doing your part for the environment.

Donating Your Children’s Old Toys

Of course, donating your children’s old toys is the first logical step, as there is usually no need for perfectly good toys to be thrown in the garbage or recycled. There are several organizations that will accept used toys as donations, as well as plenty of marketplaces that will potentially pay money for a rare or hard to find toy. explains why donating your children’s toys is usually the best possible option for disposal:

“Donating functional toys for reuse should always be the first line of defense. Apart from shelters and child care centers, the most obvious and accessible donation options are thrift stores like Goodwill, which will accept clean and functional toys that can be resold. The well-known Marine Toys for Tots Foundation is another excellent choice, donating any unopened or lightly used toys to families that can’t afford to buy them. Yet another good option is Second Chance Toys, a non-profit that accepts toys at drop-off locations during Earth Week in April and the holiday season.”

Disposing of Plastic Toys

If you’re dealing with broken or damaged plastic toys, then donating them will not be an option. In this case, you can usually recycle old plastic toys – if they’re broken apart into separate materials. 

Earth 911 explains the correct process for recycling plastic toys:

“Recycling plastic toys is difficult. You are unlikely to find municipal programs that accept them. The main problem is identifying what type(s) of plastic the toys are made from. If the plastic pieces have recycling codes stamped into them, you can use the Earth911 Recycling Search and search by the plastic code to identify local recyclers of that type of plastic. But you’ll need to call the recyclers to find out if they accept toy pieces. Recyclers often accept only certain shapes of each plastic type.”

Disposing of Stuffed Animals


Stuffed animals cannot be recycled and are guaranteed to become part of a landfill if they’re not disposed of properly. If your stuffed animals cannot be donated, it is then best to find someone who may be able to use their materials in another project.

Recyclebank tells us more on how to dispose of old stuffed animals:

“For those creatures that are too well-loved to go to a new home or be upcycled, many textiles recyclers will accept them. Textiles account for around 5 percent of landfill space, so it’s a good idea to recycle your stuffed animals (not to mention old clothes that can’t be donated), as they will be used to make textiles that are often used in garments for developing countries, or used for fibers for other applications.”

We offer a wide variety of waste disposal options, including how to correctly recycle your children’s used toys, with services readily available online. Reach out to us to see what we can offer you.

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