Christmas Toy Container

The MEA Christmas Toy Container project will divert tonnage from landfill, promote the circular economy and provide lovely toys to families who find it hard at this time of year.

12 t
Est. annual reduction in carbon
emissions (tonnes CO2 eq)

Est. number of people
who benefit directly

Our story

by Mid and East Antrim Borough Council

Council officers realised the huge potential for diverting pre-loved and unwanted toys from landfill, especially on the run up to Christmas, when families are planning to purchase new toys. The Mid and East Antrim Christmas Toy Container project will be running this year for the second year. The project was a big success in 2019, with over one tonne of toys diverted from landfill.

MEA Christmas Toy Container began in November 2019 and ran throughout the Christmas season. Council invited residents to drop off pre-loved and unwanted toys to their local Household Recycling Centre (HRC) over this period. Environmental Health worked with the waste team to ensure strict acceptance guidance on toys dropped off. Council then worked in partnership with Habitat for Humanity (Restore) in Ballymena, East Belfast Mission in Larne and Blythswood charity in Carrickfergus by donating the toys to sell on through their charity shops.

By delivering this project in 2019, Council has diverted over one tonne of toys from landfill. Council has provided items to generate revenue for the charities. Council has provided the opportunity for families from all walks of life to benefit from purchasing very reasonably priced toys for loved ones at Christmas.
Council are once again running the MEA Christmas Toy Container project this Christmas.

This year we are still working in partnership with Habitat for Humanity, East Belfast Mission and our new partner Drop Inn Charity Shop in Carrickfergus.

Dates for toy drop off are Monday 16th November until Friday 18th December 2020. Toys accepted include kids bicycles, scooters, plastic seesaws, small plastic slides etc, games, v-tech toys, jigsaws, books, dolls, robots, most plastic/wooden toys etc, in good working order. We will not accept soft plush toys e.g. teddy bears.

The results from the Christmas 2020 project diverted a staggering 2.3 tonnes of toys from landfill and support the local community through provision of beautiful toys.

We are running this project again this Christmas (2021) and are hopefuly to exceed this figure.

Our advice

Ensure you have all relevant staff aware of the project, including start/end times.

Ensure you have an effective communications campaign designed to inform the public.

Ensure you have the outlets established to gift toys to the public i.e. local charities and local community groups.

Ensure comms include specific information on the type of toys accepted (and what is not).

Ensure effective comms between staff during the project, to ensure there is no build up of toys at the drop off locations.

Ensure staff use the Household Recycling Centre weighbridge to capture the tonnage diverted.

Our metrics

Metrics used to determine if the project is working:
Tonnage of toys diverted from landfill.
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