Australia’s first toy recycling scheme expands nationwide to all BIG W stores after 18 tonnes of waste collected in phased roll-out

Australians throw 26.8 million toys in the trash every year because there are few recycling options for toys, with the majority not recyclable at the curb. To help combat these numbers, BIG W has expanded its successful Toys for joy program to all 176 stores nationwide after the initiative saw more than 18 tons of old toys collected in its first year of trial operations.

Facilitated by TerraCycle recycling partner, BIG W’s Toys for joy is the first toy recycling program of its kind in Australia. According to General Manager of BIG W, Pejman Okhovatthe program aims to reduce the number of toys ending up in landfills by providing parents and guardians with an easy and accessible disposal alternative at their local BIG W store.

“We know that as children get older they get rid of their toys and Toys For Joy gives parents peace of mind knowing that as they declutter they get rid of old toys from a way that helps reduce landfill. The program is resonating with families, as evidenced by the collection of over 18 tons of trash that has been sent to TerraCycle for recycling so far,” says Okhovat.

“We are committed to reducing landfills and helping create fun new things for kids and communities. Our first project was a children’s play area at a school in Sydney’s western suburbs and we have new initiatives in the works to help communities that need it most. We look forward to making an even bigger difference now that the program has a national footprint.

Jean Bailliard, Managing Director of TerraCycle Australia praised BIG W for providing an in-store recycling solution for parents: “It’s fantastic to be involved in a project such as Toys for joy which gives a second life to end-of-life toys. The program not only saves used toys from the landfill, but our recycling process takes complex materials like metal, rubber and a variety of plastics and turns them into new materials for reuse.

Also commenting on BIG W’s program is Federal Minister for the Environment, Sussan Ley. “Initiatives like Toys for Joy are another step to help change the national conversation about recycling and our traditional throw-away culture. Everyone has the opportunity to help achieve our national waste goals and protect our environment, and I commend BIG W for certainly playing their part in this,” says Ley.

Customers can simply drop pre-loved toys into the Toys for joy chest, which is located at the front of all BIG W stores. BIG W does not accept books, modeling clay and modeling clay, pens, pencils, crayons or brushes, plastic toys wood, board games, batteries or oversized toys.

COVID safety measures are in place to ensure Australian families can drop off their toys safely.

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