Keep Your Baby’s Room Green: Helpful Tips for Recycling Toys

Two of the most common New Year’s resolutions are to organize their homes and to become more environmentally conscious. You can combine both of these resolutions in your baby’s nursery by recycling their old toys. It helps clean up your home, makes room for all those new gifts they got over the holiday season, gets rid of items they have grown out of and keeps the Earth green.

Toys represent a simple and happy time of life for most people. They are also an essential tool in the cognitive and social development of a child. The onslaught of toys purchased, some 2.6 billion each year, represents a significant amount of potential waste and many toys you cannot simply dump in your curbside recycle bin as they are often comprised of different materials and components making them difficult to recycle. Here are some of the tips Baby Lifestyles received from Earth 911, the leading nationwide directory of local recycling resources.

E-Waste
Younger generations loves electronic toys. Electronic devices eventually wear out (some quicker than others, depending on the enthusiasm of the child), but should never be thrown away with normal trash. Electronic waste accounts for more than half of the overall toxic waste found in landfills. Electronic toys are more and more common. If they are irreparably damaged, they should be recycled with other e-waste.

Batteries
If you are able, recycle the batteries used in your children’s toys. Rechargeable batteries still contain heavy metals like other batteries, such as mercury, lead, cadmium and nickel, but they last longer. Recycling batteries keeps these heavy metals out of landfills and the air. If you must toss them, dispose of them properly with a household hazardous waste (HHW) or similar program. There are many different kinds of batteries, and they require different disposal procedures. When incinerated, certain metals can be released into the air or can concentrate in the ash produced by the combustion process.

PVC
Many toys are made of the plastic Polyvinyl Chloride, or PVC. The manufacturing of PVC requires the largest single use of chlorine gas in the world (roughly 40 percent of total chlorine production or 16 million pounds per year). The release of chlorine, mercury, lead, cadmium and other potentially hazardous chemicals into the environment are reduced when vinyl toys are recycled.

Share the Love and Donate!
Donation is always the best option for “what happens next,” because it will give the toy another life. Another child might love it just as much as the original owner. Great ways you can keep the life of toys going include passing them along to other children in your family or donating toys to a local charity, school or church. If you check your local hospitals, some accept stuffed animals and other toys and any child who is sick would greatly appreciate them.

For more information about how you can recycle toys, visit Earth 911.

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