Toys are an inevitable and vital aspect of everyone’s childhood. Kids learn, kids play, kids grow with toys as their precious, all-time companions. However, as the little ones grow older, the good old toys no more fascinate them. With storage boxes full of toys that no more excite the munchkins, parents may be left wondering as to how these toys can be disposed off or put to some use. Reusing these toys and passing them on to the younger children is an option. One can always resell or donate them too. However, sometimes these toys are damaged or broken beyond use. Recycling these damaged toys is the ideal thing to do in that case.
What You Need to Know Before Recycling Your Toys?
Every toy comes with a certain grade certification by a toy testing laboratory. These labs will not only test the components and raw material of the toys but also the finished products on various parameters. Toys are tested on parameters like durability, usability, toxicity, flammability and much more by a certified toy testing lab. This information can be found on the cover of the toy, based on which you can decide how to recycle it.
Generally, the main components of any toy are made of plastic, metal, wood and electronic parts. Metal and electronic toys are much easier and affordable to recycle than plastic and wooden toys. Let us spend a little time understanding why.
- Plastic Toys:-
Being the least environment- friendly component, plastic is the most difficult material to recycle. Recyclers often reject most kinds of plastic toys for recycling. Even if they accept, they accept only certain shapes and certain grades of plastic. It is a tough job to find out what kind of plastic has been used to manufacture the toy. A recyclable plastic toy would have a recycling code stamped on it.
- Metal Toys:-
It is an effortless task to recycle toys that are made of metal and involves the least hassles to recycle the metal components of toys. Scrap yards will comfortably accept these metal toys or their metal parts like any other metal items that they usually do. Also, in most cases, it is unimportant for the owner to know the kind of metal used in the toys. The workers in the scrap yard will find out and sort the toys accordingly. Call up the scrap yard near you and simply hand over the metal toys to them. And you are good to go!
- Electronic Toys:-
Electronic toys compose of both, metal and plastic. Hence, recycling them can get a little complex. One may need to separate the plastic, electronic and metal components before sending them for recycling. Like the cables, outer body, circuit board, batteries etc need to be disposed separately. A specialised electronic recycler will take care of the recycling process of the electronic components of the toy.
- Wooden Toys:-
Like we all know, wooden toys are extremely durable. No matter how roughly they are used, the fact remains, they last really long! Some wooden toys even last for generations. Ideally, in most households, wooden toys are passed on to someone else to play with. However, if ever the toy is damaged to an extent that it cannot be used, then recycling is the next best alternative. How the toy is disposed or recycled depends upon what the toy has been treated with. If it is completely natural wood, then composting it is a great idea. If the toy has any component of paint on it then disposing it off in the trash is your only option.
Toys can be a great way to teach our children to be responsible citizens. Teach them to segregate their broken toys and recycle them. A little imagination and love for the environment can go a long way in making the world a better place.