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Where to take your kids’ old toys to make sure they avoid the dump

Where to take your kids’ old toys to make sure they avoid the dump
WATCH: While Christmas may have left your kids with a pile of new toys to help them make the most of the their holiday break, it may have left you with a pile of old ones destined for the landfill too. As Connor O'Donovan reports, there are options out there to give those toys a second chance at life, and they won't only help the environment.

Christmas can be a busier time than usual for most, especially at landfills, and some of the items replaced by Christmas shopping that are most likely to end up in the dump are kids toys.

“We see about a 20 per cent increase (overall) over the Christmas season,” said City of Regina Water, Waste and Environment Director Pat Wilson. “That’s various things. We do know those products, like toys, tend to be recyclable.”

Luckily though, there are several places in Regina where you can take your old toys and be sure they’ll live out a healthy second life.

One of those is Carmichael Outreach.

READ MORE: Carmichael Outreach staff begin move to permanent location

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“Sometimes our bins are just empty, and we have no toys for them,” said Carmichael Outreach Receptionist Shawna Semaganis.

Carmichael Outreach, which recently moved into what they call their “forever home” at 1510 12th Avenue, offers a space where people in need can get items like clothing, toiletries and toys, for free.

A toy bin at Carmichael Outreach.
A toy bin at Carmichael Outreach. Connor O'Donovan / Global News

“The children that come, they look so cute rummaging through the bins and saying ‘yay, look what I found,'” said Semaganis. “They should get something that’s gonna make them happy, that’s gonna knock their socks off.”

Of course, if you decide you’re going to donate, Semaganis says there are certain quality standards that should be met.

“They must be clean and in working order with the majority of the pieces and not just the shell,” she said. “We don’t really want the bottom of a toy box where they just grab the good stuff and dump the rest into a bag.”

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As Semaganis says, your donation will go a long way towards putting a smile on the face of both Mother Nature and her inhabitants.

“Living in and around the poverty line it’s really hard to manage to get the rent paid, to get food on the table,” she said. “So if they can’t afford the presents in the end they can come and see me.”

READ MORE: How much Christmas wrapping paper, tape and gift bags do Canadians throw out each year?

Other local organizations that accept used toy donations include the Regina Transition House, Souls Harbour Rescue Mission and the W.I.S.H. Safe House.