Image of toys

What to do with toys and games?

24 Apr 21

Did you know that more than 60% of parents in Scotland say their kids have too many toys? Often households with children become overflowing with toys - but there are loads of ways to recycle or reuse toys to save that plastic lorry from going to landfill. 

Household recycling collection

Toys and games aren’t accepted as part of household recycling collections. If they are in ship-shape condition then pass them otherwise they will need to go in your general waste bin.

not currently recycled

Household waste recycling centre (HWRC)

Local recycling centres don’t accept toys for recycling.

If your toys are beyond repair, there may be components that can be recycled when dismantled but overall they normally contain too many different types of plastic.

not currently recycled

Other recycling collections

Undamaged soft toys including teddy bears can be deposited alongside textiles at some textile clothing banks (you can find these in many supermarket car parks). 

Non-electronic Hasbro toys and games including board games, metal/plastic/wood toys and games, action figures and dolls can be recycled via TerraCycle public drop-off locations

Recycling facilities exist

What about recycling electronic games?

Unlike traditional toys, electronic toys and games can be recycled at your local recycling centre. If they are still in good condition, think about donating them to charity or passing them on to friends. 

If a toy has a plug, batteries, needs charging or has a picture of a crossed-out wheelie bin on it, then it can be recycled. Using our recycling locator tool to find out where you can recycle electronic games. 

What can I do with toys if I can’t recycle them?

  1. Donate to charity shops, nurseries or local playgroups.

  2. Host a swapping event with friends, family and neighbours - often toys are in perfectly good condition, but children are bored of them.

  3. Ask your kids to sort through their toys to find any that they don’t play with anymore so that they can be passed on to a second-hand store to start the next fun-filled chapter of their life with a new family.

  4. Join a toy library and borrow instead of buying.

Try to hold onto the safety information and any instructions for toys and games, especially if you pass them on to friends, family or a charity shop.

Recycling is constantly evolving and changing so check back for updates or try our recycling locator to find out what you can recycle at home and where you can recycle or pass on unwanted items in your local area.