Often it’s at this time of year when we start to feel stressed-out by the clutter in our homes. Making space for new toys, bikes and scooters can really highlight just how many old toys there are lying around the house, no longer used or broken.
Unsurprisingly, Christmas and New Year are the busiest time of year for the local waste and landfill sites – as it’s out with the old and in with the new! But before you rush to throw too much away, why not have a think about the options for recycling some of the stuff you no longer need.
There are loads of ways you can do this in Leeds, many of which can actually help other people in need at the same time. Here’s just a few ideas.
Good quality clothing, particularly warm winter items such as coats, hats, gloves and boots are oftenin high demand for those who really need them. Saint George’s Crypt, Leeds Woman’s Aid, Leeds Baby Bank and your local charity shop all take clothing that is in good condition and can be worn again.
If you would prefer to try to sell on some of your items Petite Flea – Baby & Children’s Markets, Table Tots Baby & Indoor Children’s Markets and NCT Leeds all run second hand toddler and maternity markets across Leeds. The cost of a table is low, to ensure you cover your costs. And you can sell all sorts of baby, toddler and maternity products at the same time, no just clothes. Check their facebook pages to see when their next sale is.
Alternatively for a bit of fun, you could take part in a clothing exchange, where you swap your old clothes with other people. The Old King’s Garms Swap Shop runs regularly in Horsforth, where you can exchange up to 20 items with other people.
Bikes are not cheap, particularly when you think that the average child will probably outgrow 3 in their lifetime. Which is why
organisations are now realising there’s real value in recycling old bikes to provide affordable second hand options. Leeds Bike Mill recondition donated bikes to sell on at low cost and the Yorkshire Bank Bike Libraries across Leeds will loan your donated bike out to children for up to two weeks at a time. You can donate old bikes for all age groups to either of these schemes.
Cot’s/ Baby Gates/ Pushchairs
Leeds Baby Bank is on a mission to ensure every baby in Leeds has the essential items that are often difficult to source for some families. As well as everyday essentials, they take donations of some of the bigger, more expensive items such as clothes, cots and push chairs. The charity is currently closed for donations in December whilst they upgrade their premises but you can follow their progress here for any items you’d like to donate in the New Year.
There are lots of charities that will recycle your old furniture for you, including the Leeds and Moortown Furniture Store and The British Heart Foundation. Many will even come and collect larger items from your home if you call them in advance to arrange.
Alternatively, why not have a think about an upcycling project for the new year? Posh Chalk Interiors run regular, fun classes from their workshop in Armley where they’ll teach you how to upcycle your furniture into a new master piece using chalk paint.
There are lots of ways to recycle your old toys. You can donate them to charity, a local recycling centre shop like Revive Leeds or try speaking to your local Playgroup or Children’s Centre to see if they can make use of them.
For a fun alternative, why not swap some of them in the Mumbler Toy Exchange? We have purple tubs in venues throughout West Leeds, where you can donate your old toys and swap them for new ones that someone else has donated, at the same time. Helping to teach your kids about recycling whilst having fun at the same time. For a list of venues with our tubs click here.
You can even recycle broken toys. Playbox is an old shipping container filled with fun that is currently popping up around various locations in Leeds. Donations of old toys could be hacked up, mashed up and given a new lease of life by children in one of their workshops all over Leeds.
How many times have you used a tin of paint, only to find you’ve got a third of it left over? Seagulls Paint on Kirkstall Road are a
unique social enterprise who recycle the leftover paint you take to household waste sites and sell it on to everyone at reduced prices (sometimes they even give it away if they have lots of it!!). They will mix any colour by eye and even offer chalk paints for upcycling old furniture.
We hope this has given you plenty of ideas for your clear out. If you have any additional ideas or suggestions on how to recycle stuff locally, why not join the West Leeds Mumbler Chat Group and share them with us.
*Please check with each business before donating as some periodically stop taking donations. Please also ensure that any items donated or recycled are in good, working condition where required.