Solid Waste & Recycling


Encouraging Consumers to Responsibly Dispose of Toys

Anyone with children knows how quickly a new toy can collect dust. For this reason, we continually make room for new toys in our children’s closets and, as a result, the pile of soon-to-be discarded toys constantly grows larger. With toy sales accounting for more than $20 billion each year, this represents a significant amount of potential waste.

While donation is always a great option for unwanted toys, sometimes a toy is loved too much to be in like-new condition for other children’s use. While your first inclination would be to throw old toys in the garbage, there are other ways to beneficially reuse your old toys. In particular, electronic toys like Wiis and motorized cars contain parts – such as glass, plastic and metals – that can be recycled and reused in the creation of new products. Like other electronic waste, these toys may need to be carefully managed during the recycling process.

As more people become educated about the proper disposal of e-waste, such as electronic toys like Xboxes and remote-controlled cars, manufacturers and waste industry experts have teamed up to assist with the recycling process. Recently, the Canadian Toy Association and Waste Management joined forces to provide British Columbia’s first electronic toy recycling event. During the event, the two groups collected electronic toys that were broken or could no longer be used for recycling. This video provides further explanation about the event.

The Vancouver-area event emerged as part of the Canadian Toy Association’s (CTA) work to develop a new type of electronics recycling program to meet B.C.’s Recycling Regulation. CTA’s new program, which is under development, will provide B.C. consumers with a convenient and environmentally responsible way to recycle used, unwanted, obsolete or damaged electronic toys. The materials collected during the recent recycling day will be analyzed by different product categories and broken down by material, product age, and manufacturer, if known. By sifting through these toys, the CTA can determine the best ways safely recycle and divert these materials from disposal.

While this was only hosted as a trial event, it was an encouraging step toward instituting similar types of programs across North America to teach consumers the value and convenience of diversion programs.

As toy manufacturers, waste industry experts and government officials continue to work together to create these types of recycling programs, consumers will be afforded many more opportunities for safe, simple and environmentally conscious disposal of their unwanted items.

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