“What should I do with unwanted used Legos,” you may ask. Donation is the answer! Donate your bins and boxes of used and new Legos, don’t dump your Lego toys in the trash, or even in recycling bins. Lego pieces will sit for thousands of years and won’t safely decompose in landfills, and the can’t be recycled. The great news is they are so durable they can be reused countless times, and children (and adults) around the world continue to love how creative they can be when given pounds and pounds of the World’s most popular toy.
Instead of keeping them in your garage, collecting dust because “you might use them some day”, you should be thinking “why shouldn’t I Donate Legos?” and put them back in circulation TODAY. If later on you find you really “need” more Legos there will always be literally thousands of tons Lego bricks for sale on eBay and Craigslist for very low prices.
Many thrifts including Goodwills accept sealed sets, but few can properly handle incomplete sets or mixed pieces, and many thrifts mistakenly just dump in their recycling bins. Unfortunately, recycling centers across the US can’t handle these, due to many potential reasons. We researched every curbside recycling program for the top 30 cities in the US (serving over 30 million people) and got depressed. Down below, you can see some of the emails we received from curbside recycling centers describing what happens to these wonderful toys when people try to recycle Legos.
There are so many people longing for a few pounds of Legos, but seemly no one to connect them donors. Most of the time people and programs just go without them, or buy a few and hope the kids will be happy with what they get. Other times, organizations may get several huge donations, and not know what to do with the excess.
That’s how BrickRecycler.com was born…an organization whose mission is to match donors with those craving these wonderful (and inspiring) toys. People graciously have given their prized small collections, to very large (several hundred pounds), whether mixed pieces, or complete large collector architecture, or Star Wars sets, to robotic sets.
“Pay it forward”, and continue the cycle of love, fun, creatively, and joy. Many kids have donated Legos they collected from friends and neighbors. It’s a great community service opportunity for youth to create their own Lego drive.
Sent: Wednesday, May 28, 2014 11:16 AM
Subject: Louisville, KY Lego Toys
Thank you for contacting MetroCall 311. Unfortunately, Lego pieces are not accepted in the recycling bins. I have attached a guide with information on what types of plastic items are acceptable for the recycling program. Only items with the recycle symbol numbered 1-7 are allowed.
502-574-5000 or 311
From: 311 columbus
Sent: Tuesday, May 27, 2014 8:56 AM
Subject: RE: Columbus OH Lego recycling
Thank you for contacting the 311 Service Center. Lego pieces are not eligible for collection with the recycling service for the City of Columbus. We would suggest if you do not wish to donate them that they can either be bagged and placed in your regular trash container or if you place them in a box we can schedule boxes weighing less than 50 pounds for bulk pick up
311 Service Center
From: Clearing House (DPW)
Sent: Tuesday, May 27, 2014 9:15 AM
Subject: RE: Legos, Washington DC
You cannot recycle Lego toys. They must be trashed.
Thank you for contacting us.
Customer Service Clearinghouse Philadelphia, PA
From: Benjamin Ditzler
Sent: Wednesday, May 21, 2014 7:09 AM
Subject: Re: LEGOsrecycleable?
Legos are not recyclable via the city’s curbside collection because the pieces are so incredibly small that there’s no way that they could be mechanically sorted. They’d just end up in the trash stream as a result.
DO NOT RECYCLE THESE ITEMS
If these items are placed in the blue container, there’s a likelihood of contaminating the other clean materials. Please ensure that the items placed in the blue container are clean and free from contaminants such as:
- Contaminated Paper all soiled papers or bags with oils and food waste
- “Other Plastic ” including any electric or battery operated toys
Even “industrial ABS recyclers” have a hard time with LEGOs. Thousands of pounds of pure ABS product would be needed.
From: Chris Fu
Date: May 13, 2014 at 9:00AM
Thank you for your inquiry. Although, technically we can recycle Legos scrap, we would need many thousands of pounds of just pure ABS pieces to make it worthwhile.
Chris Fu ECO USA LLC
One Bridge Plaza North, Suite 275 Fort Lee, New Jersey 07024
From: Environmental Services
Sent: Thursday, June 6, 2013 12:34 PM
Subject: Re: LEGO (ABS) recycling
If Legos go into the recycling cart, they will be pulled out and sent to the landfill because that type of plastic is not accepted by the company we sell our plastic to for recycling. Even though it has the recycling symbol and number on the bottom, it doesn’t mean it CAN be recycled, it just identifies the type of resin the product is made from.
Feel free to contact me if you have further questions.
Regards, Karen Gissibl Recycling Manager
Only plastics with the symbols #1-7 should be placed in the recycling cart. Plastic lids, water bottle lids and unmarked plastics are not recyclable and should be placed in the trash cart.