Ready for some bad news? If your Nerf guns are not in working condition, they will probably end up in a landfill, instead of getting recycled. The ones that do work may get resold in secondhand stores such as Goodwill or The Salvation Army, or donated.
Is it possible to recycle Nerf guns? Not really. The guns are made of hard plastic, but that is not recyclable by most plastic recycling centers. So, what can you do with your Nerf guns? Read on to find out.
Generally, when it comes to toys, it’s best to donate or recycle (you can even recycle puzzles). But of course, the details matter, so let’s dive into them.
- What can you do with your Nerf guns?
- Best Places to Donate Preloved and Gently Used Toys
What can you do with your Nerf guns?
Does your Nerf gun work? If it doesn’t work and cannot be repaired, then Hasbro, the brand that makes the Nerf guns, has a free toy recycling program with Terracycle. This is a brand-specific program, and it appears that you can send Hasbro Nerf guns to them.
You’ll need to enroll in the program. If the program is full, you will be added to a waitlist, but it’s worth the wait if your Nerf gun is completely shot and unusable. It’s definitely better than tossing it into the landfill.
You can download a free shipping label from the Terracycle website to ship your Hasbro toys and games to TerraCycle. Terracycle will then recycle them.
If your Nerf guns are in good working condition, you could donate them (and all other gently used toys you may want to give away) to a charity or non-profit that helps children. Check out the easy list below of places you can send all your gently-used toys to (not just Nerf guns). But before you head there, just give them a call to confirm if they will accept your toys. Charities sometimes do not have the space to store certain items at certain times of the year. If they cannot accept your items, they will probably be able to help you identify someone else who can.
Best Places to Donate Preloved and Gently Used Toys
We hope you are favoring eco-friendly toys for your kids! In any case, once your children have outgrown their toys, it’s a big challenge to figure out what to do with them. If you have friends’ children or relatives’ children who can use them, great! Hand the toys over to them. But, often, we find that they already have too many toys. What do you do then?
Well, here’s a list of places you can check out locally to see if they will accept your kids’ toys that are in working condition. The toys will go on to be used by other kids, so make sure they’re in good shape for that!
1 / Children’s Hospitals
Kids there are going through a lot already, and could use some extra toys to help them along the way. Find the nearest children’s hospital, and drop off your gently used toys there (after getting the go-ahead from the hospital, of course).
2 / Thrift Shops
Goodwill, the Salvation Army, the St. Vincent de Paul Society and other charity groups accept donations of second hand toys. You can drop off the toys during their working hours, or pop them into the drop boxes usually kept outside the building.
3 / Homeless Shelters
The unfortunate reality is that there are more and more kids struggling to live a safe and comfortable life in their home. They also could use toys. Check up on your local shelter for domestic violence survivors. Look for homeless shelters that take in families, and hand over the toys to them. Toys are a lifeline sometimes for children going through difficult domestic situations, so it’s a very useful place for your toys.
4 / Foster Programs
Organizations such as Foster Cares are ideal places to donate some toys. Kids in the foster home system often fall through the cracks because of limited resources. Toys can help, along with any financial help you can give if you’re in a position to. Reach out to your local Department of Social Services for information about a local office of Foster Cares.
5 / Preschools and Daycares
Like when you donate your old school textbooks to your local library, you can hand over your children’s old toys to their preschool and daycare, if they’re willing to accept them.
6 / Organizations that Collect Toys for Donations
This program is sponsored by the US Marine Corps to collect new and used toys as Christmas gifts for underprivileged children. You can donate a toy and also request for a toy via their website.
Stuffed Animals for Emergencies (SAFE) helps children feel safe in traumatic situations with the help of toys. You can also donate books, clothes and blankets, etc. to them. If you’re more enthusiastic, you can even host a stuffed animal drive for them.
iii. Second Chance Toys
This non-profit provides toys to kids living in poverty, or close to it, in areas in and around New York and New Jersey. They accept only plastic toys that have all the parts intact (including batteries). They have metro drop off locations where you can hand over your gently used toys.
7 / Animal Shelters
We know dogs would love to tear into that stuffed bear! Check if the animal shelter near your place will accept stuffed animals. The stuffed toys should be safe for the animals, of course, and may even provide warmth and a ‘mother figure’ to little puppies and kittens who don’t have a mother. If you love animals, this is the perfect place to drop off your (safe) stuffed toys. Take your children along – they might enjoy watching a puppy happily accept their much-loved Tigger stuffed toy.
8 / Religious Organizations’ Day Care Centers
Many churches, mosques, temples and other religious places have a daycare program. If you go to your religious place often, ask if they will accept toys as a donation.
9 / Online Sites
The Internet to the rescue. Check out these websites to donate, or sell, your old and gently-used toys.
1 / Donation Town
2 / Craigslist
3 / Facebook Marketplace
4 / Freecycle
5 / Nextdoor
6 / Listia (app)
7 / OfferUp (app)
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