So you’ve got this new little person living in your house. He’s tiny but all his stuff is so, so big. Crib, pack and play, swing, stroller, changing table, baby gate, bouncer, car seat, sit to stand walker, play yard, rocking horse, activity table and so many toys. Did you even know what half of this stuff was before you had a kid? Now it’s everywhere! There will come a time when one of these big things breaks or you’re finally done with it. Don’t send it to the landfill to be forever entombed. There are many options for disposal if you are mindful to do your part.
Contact the Manufacturer
A growing trend among manufacturers is to accept products back at the end of their life, especially shoes. This trend is not as prevalent with baby items but it’s worth a try. It’s also the best place to start and takes much of weight off you, usually just shipping.
Recycling is always preferred over sending anything to a landfill. Of course, this depends a lot on what it is you are getting rid of and where you live. Car seat recycling is becoming quite widespread – contact your local solid waste district to discover where to drop it off. Or opt for mail in recycling. Baby Earth accepts car seats, strollers, swings, jumpers, high chairs and even diaper bags to recycle through the mail – you do need to pay for shipping though. If your waste item is plastic, check it for a recycling symbol. Your kid’s huge plastic activity table that’s cracked may be accepted by your local recycling program but you should probably ask.
Can your changing table be used for a shelf in the basement? What about the pack and play as a huge laundry basket or a ball pit for older kids? Turn your gate into a drying rack or a magazine holder. Finding a new use for your unwanted item is a great way to keep it out of the landfill.
Hand It Down
If you can’t reuse your baby swing, why not give it to your neighbor who is expecting? You probably received many hand-me-downs from friends and fam before your little one arrived. Pay it forward and do the same.
Give your old baby stuff the other people who can use it. Donate to your favorite thrift store or find a school, church, day care or even a library in need.
Baby stuff is a big draw at yard sales. There are also many local used kid’s clothing sales. If you’re not in the habit of going to yours, give it a try and sell your stuff there too! You can always go the Craig’s List route or find a consignment shop. Selling unwanted items is often a more time intensive endeavor but the extra cash can help you buy that next really big thing your kid will need!