Every year before Christmas arrives, I try to go through all my kids toys and get rid of the ones they don't really play with anymore to make room for the new ones they won't play with. But, after watching all three Toy Story movies (multiple times) I just can't bring myself to throw them away...they have feelings, too!
Toys make great hand-me-downs, so that's always the first thing I try to do. Kids always want what other kids have, so I can usually unload a few items that way. Donating them is another option for the ones I can't hand down. Local churches, charities and hospitals are always looking for donations as long as they have been washed. But not all of your kids old toys are in great shape, meaning they can't be donated or handed down. So, what do you do with them?
Try recycling them. Now, it's true that recycling toys can be a challenge because there's so many different materials used to make toys, but it's not impossible.
Electronic toys should be treated like an old computer or VCR and sent to an E-waste facility for recycling. Hard plastic toys are ground up and melted down to become a different product. Earth911.com is a great resource for finding recycling centers for these items.
It can get a little tricky when it comes to recycling stuffed animals. Because so many different fibers can be used to make one stuffed animal, it can be difficult for a recycling center to sort through it all. So, your best bet would be to reuse it or stick with donating them. If a stuffed animal is just too beat up to give to a hospital or charity, call your local animal shelter to see if they take them as chew toys or as a comfy "friend" for lonely puppies.
So, make sure you put as much thought into what you're going to do with the old toys as you do when you are out buying the new ones...someone, somewhere, will appreciate it!
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