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The amount of plastic that ends up in the ocean yearly is astronomical. There are now islands of debris called garbage patches floating in the ocean. The “Great Pacific Garbage Patch” is one of the five biggest garbage patches. The size of this enormous patch is hard to determine exactly. Some estimates claim it can be twice the size of Texas ( Microplastics -- which are tiny plastic pieces the size of a sesame seed or smaller -- from landfill runoff or pollution and litter are building up in our water sources as well ( Although we cannot necessarily see them, they are impacting the ocean ecosystem in many negative ways.

Not only are microplastics a detriment to the environment, ending up mixed in with sand on our beaches and in our coral reefs, but more and more ocean life is being found with plastic in their stomachs. In a study done by Dr. Britta Denise Hardesty from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, about half the baby turtles they found dead had plastic in their stomachs ( But turtles are far from the only ocean animals ingesting plastics. Of the 210 species of commercially caught fish, every single species has been found to have plastic in their systems ( These are fish that we eat, which means, consequently, that this plastic is ending up in OUR systems.

There is still much research that needs to be done concerning the effects of plastic in the human body. One study showed that humans are now yearly ingesting 39,000 to 52,000 microplastic particles ( This means that humans are eating about a credit card worth of plastic weekly, or 52 credit cards yearly ( Another showed that ingesting microplastics makes our cells, in particular our lung cells, act abnormally, by changing their shape and slowing down their metabolic processes (

None of this bodes well for the environment nor for our own health. Second Chance Toys is just a small part of the solution. Even though Earth Month is now behind us, it is important that we take the learning and continue our efforts throughout the year... as our everyday actions are an important part of the solution.


Written by Jada Evans, a Second Chance Toys intern, pre-law student currently pursuing a B.A in Law Technology and Culture at the New Jersey Institute of Technology.

Mass consumption of goods is an issue that America in particular struggles with. Ever since World War II, “a mass consumer economy seemed to make good economic sense for the nation” ( Because of mass consumption, Americans are going through goods quickly and discarding them even quicker.

According to the Bard College Circular Value Chains Analysis, there are about 900 million toys manufactured per year. This is equivalent to 3.6 billion pounds of toys being produced by toy companies. Sadly, 1.5 billion pounds of toys are thrown away each year, which means over ⅓ of the toys being produced yearly are ending up in landfills. Many of these toys are made of plastics, which are harmful to the environment. During 2018, plastics “[accounted] for over 18 percent” of the 146.1 million tons of Municipal Solid Waste that were landfilled ( High levels of toxic greenhouse gases are also produced by rotting trash in landfills, which contributes to global warming (

When plastics break down they turn into microplastics, which are tiny particles of plastic that can end up in our ecosystem ( The World Wildlife Fund says that since plastic products can be so lightweight, they risk being blown on a windy day or washed away during heavy rain into the ocean, causing marine pollution. Up to 10 million tons of plastics make their way into the oceans every year, causing harm to all forms of aquatic life from tiny plankton, to turtles, to choral, to sharks and whales (

Most of the plastic products made are not coming from recycled plastic. But with awareness growing surrounding the devastation that plastic waste is having on the environment, we are seeing more companies starting to innovate, reusing plastics to make other products, and working towards solving the plastics problem.

Second Chance Toys applauds the entrepreneurs and forward thinking companies that are exploring new avenues of production and consumption as well as those individuals, groups and consumers that are working to keep plastics out of our landfills and oceans.   

It's April, a month in which many of us are looking for ways we can help protect the earth and our environment. One easy answer may be hiding in your very own toy closets! Simply gather all your unwanted plastic toys, make sure they are clean, no missing parts and that batteries are functioning. Find a participating recycling center nearest you, and drop your toys there. It is that easy and convenient!

Twice a year Second Chance Toys brings in volunteer teams to clean and bag the toys at our recycling center locations. Then, that same day, our partner 1-800-GOT-JUNK? will load up the bags of toys and take them to local organizations designated by Second Chance Toys. We have collected and distributed thousands of toys through this program to many deserving children. The NJ Department of Environmental Protection has recognized this program with an award and Sustainable Jersey gives towns points for participation. 

To date we have 8 participating recycling centers in Northern and Central Jersey. They are collecting toys all year long. 

Drop-off locations include Fair Lawn Recycling Center, Paramus Department of Public Works, West Orange Recycling Center, Westfield Conservation Center, Montgomery Township Recycling Center, Holmdel Township Recycling Depot, Eatontown Department of Public Works, and Middletown Recycling Center. Please check the Drop-Off Locations tab on our website for details on locations and hours of operation.

As with all our collections, we ask that you donate toys in the condition you would like for your own children. Make sure the toys are plastic and clean, no missing parts and that all pieces are attached securely to the toy so they do not separate in transit. If the toy requires batteries, they should be fully functional or include an extra set so the toy can be enjoyed. 

Help recycle the love and joy your toys can bring to others!

Earth month is here, and Second Chance Toys makes it easy to Do Good and Be Green.  Simply gather all your "outplayed" plastic toys along with those of your friends and relatives. Once you have collected 50 toys, Second Chance Toys willmatch you with a local organization that serves children in need.

Why should you do this? Consider all the plastic that ends up in our landfills and oceans. In addition to this, consider that there 15 million children living in poverty. With the Second Chance Toys award-winning donation program, you can help children and the earth at the same time!

We ask that toys are donated in the condition that would be suitable for your own children. Make sure the toys are plastic, gently used and clean. Additionally, there should be no missing parts and all pieces must be attached securely to the toy, so they do not separate in transit. If the toy requires batteries, they should be fully functional or please include an extra set so the toy can be enjoyed. 

A collection is a great way to teach your kids, early on, the importance of giving and reuse. We even provide collection tips and fun activity sheets in our Resources Section to help you along the way.

To become a collector OR to donate a minimum of 50 toys of your own, you can register here.

Once we receive your registration, we will begin the matching process with a local organization.

Let's work together!

Samantha Fallon has autism and suffers from severe anxiety. This holiday season, she

received a gently used American Girl Doll with accessories from a collection conducted
by Laura and Allie Pullaro in New York.

Sam's mom, Doris, was ecstatic to receive this much-needed gift for her daughter, not
only in the spirit of the holidays, but because this doll is helping Samantha in so many

As Doris explained, "Sam really likes the doll because she gets to role play with me or
grandma and it helps with her auditory skills."

Her mother added that the doll gives her the opportunity to continue doing some of
the things she is missing out on with remote learning for school. She gets to dress and
undress the doll. That is practice for both visually identifying clothing and how to put
them on her doll, which reinforces what she already knows with dressing herself. It also
helps her practice her sensory and motor skills by brushing the dolls hair.

Sami likes to hold her doll and sleeps with it. Her mom says it provides positive and
emotional support for her, in particular because of her severe anxiety. It also helps with her fears of Covid.

Sami has named the doll McKenna and is looking forward to getting more clothes for her so she can continue changing the outfits.

Second Chance Toys is thrilled to have provided this amazing gift of comfort and learning for the holidays.




In just over a week's time, PS 132, Conseylea School, went full speed ahead blasting out the word to parents that it was again that time of year to collect gently used plastic toys for children in need. The response, as has been for the past 4 years, was overwhelming! They collected nearly 1,700 toys and were able to donate to three organizations as a result. With the support of school administration and their custodial team, school parent, Danielle Sanchez, has taken on the collection each year and has not only put her heart and soul into the effort, but takes a week off from work to organize a small team of volunteer parents (Eloise Corr-Danch, David Wills, and Suzanne Puntillo) to sort out the toys by age and need for the various recipients.

With such a huge haul of toys, 1-800-GOT-JUNK? volunteered to pick up and deliver the goods to Ocean Hill School, Brooklyn Ascend School, and Rainbow Housing. The toys are now in the hands of some very deserving children who can benefit from socialization, learning and exercising their imaginations with these colorful tools of play.

Thank you PS 132. You go above and beyond every year!!

Iona Preparatory School high school students teamed up with Second Chance Toys and Immaculate Heart of Mary School in Scarsdale to run a toy collection benefiting WestCOP Head Start preschool programs throughout Westchester and Putnam counties. 

The students at Iona Prep are in their junior year and select organizations to work with as part of their junior service project. The students thought that working with an elementary school would prove to be more successful since these families with younger children have the toys!

Immaculate Heart of Mary families donated nearly 300 toys!  WooHooo!!

“By simply cleaning up a used toy we were able to put smiles on other children during this holiday season.” said Anthony T, one of the students participating in the toy collection.

The residents at the Enclave at Round Rock Senior Living community collected and cleaned nearly 250 toys and then tagged them with inspirational messages to give away this holiday season to children living at Hope Alliance in Round Rock, Texas. 

The residents were so excited to support Second Chance Toys and have the opportunity for their generation to help another generation.  "Seeing these children happy during the holiday season is their greatest wish,” shares Round Rock Sales Director Molly Davis Nedley.

The families at William J. McGinn Elementary in Scotch Plains have demonstrated an outpouring of support and generosity year after year at our annual December Toy Drive with Second Chance Toys. Students and parents look forward to this annual tradition and start setting aside unneeded toys the month before the drive. It is motivating for families to know that their donations will be a Christmas gift for needy families in Union County NJ! 

Dedicated parent volunteers post information and reminders about the upcoming one-day drive on our community social media sites and in our weekly PTA emails. Fourth grade students help make morning announcements about the upcoming drive, and they make posters to hang around the school as part of their service learning project. The two-hour toy drive begins at school drop-off, with parent and student volunteers helping to collect donations as students arrive for school. This team helps to sort, clean, and prepare the toys immediately for donation. In just a few hours, over 1,000 toys are readied and delivered to children in need in a neighboring town. 

Thank you McGinn School Community!!!

Jefferson Elementary School in Roxbury Township held a used plastic toy drive for Second Chance Toys, a non-profit organization that rescues and recycles plastic toys for children in need by donating them to community organizations while keeping them out of the landfills. 

According to Second Chance Toys, “Given the nature of plastic, the toys often show little signs of wear. When these “good-as-new” toys are thrown out, they become waste in a landfill, take up a lot of space, and do not biodegrade. Hand in hand with this wastefulness is the fact that many children in the United States own few or no toys at all. Second Chance Toys provides a waste-need solution to these problems. Unwanted plastic toys are rescued and donated to organizations that care for children in need. The toys can enhance a child’s development by helping promote socialization, creativity, emotional security, motor skills, and learning.”

Jefferson School was paired with Norwescap Head Start Preschool in Denville, NJ and two carloads of toys were delivered there on Friday, December 6th.

This recycled toy collection helps Jefferson School continue on its sustainability path as a bronze certified school with Sustainable Jersey for Schools.

Second Chance Toys was among those honored today as New Jersey’s 2019 recycling leaders. 

Receiving the award is Bronna Lipton, Executive Director of Second Chance Toys with Steve Rinaldi, NJDEP, Bureau of Sustainability.

The DEP and Association of New Jersey Recyclers co-sponsored the symposium and luncheon, where recycling awards are presented to outstanding businesses, organizations, local government agencies, and individuals who have made significant contributions to recycling in New Jersey.

“I commend these award winners for their work to promote recycling and educate their communities about the importance of diverting waste to better protect our natural resources,” Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Catherine R. McCabe said. “New Jersey is consistently a national leader in recycling, and we applaud the winners for going above and beyond to help safeguard the environment.”

“We proudly honor the award winners for their focused and innovative efforts to keep our environment clean and healthy,” said Francis Steitz, Acting Assistant Commissioner for Air Quality, Energy and Sustainability. “We hope promoting their accomplishments will inspire others to adopt better recycling practices.”

Second Chance Toys is honored to recieve this prestigious award.

When approached to have their employees clean hundreds of toys collected by Westfield Conservation Center, GEP, a software company located in Clark, NJ, was eager to get involved in  this community service project. And the GEP volunteers tackled the massive collection head on, inspecting and cleaning 800 toys in a matter of hours!

Westfield Conservation Center had been collecting toys since October and quickly filled the original shed designated for the effort. Recognizing the popularity of the program, the town switched to a 20-foot container to hold the toys. By the time GEP volunteers arrived on site in August to tackle the job, the container was filled to the brim. In total, the combined efforts of Westfield Conservation Center and GEP kept 800 toys and 3,200 pounds of plastic out of landfills. That very same day, 1-800-GOT-JUNK? transported the toys to two organizations in Plainfield for distribution. With the reuse of these toys, 1,600 children are impacted socially, emotionally, physically and creatively with each round of shared play!

Westfield has started its collection efforts again and expects to fill the 20-footer soon!

For the 7th year in a row, Viacom volunteers have participated with Second Chance Toys in a toy cleaning event on Viacommunity Day. Volunteers broke all previous records with an incredible 1,750 toys, inspected, cleaned and bagged at Fair Lawn Recycling Center.

This was a tremendous effort that required everyone pitching in at a good pace to get the job done in a little over 3 hours' time.  All 25 volunteers worked as a team, taking on roles where they saw there was a need. It was really heartening to witness the camaraderie and teamwork. This is what employee engagement is all about. Many of the volunteers have been coming back year after year and Second Chance Toys is so grateful for their enthusiasm.

In total, Viacom volunteers cleaned 1,750 toys, keeping 7,000 lbs. of plastic out of landfills and enabling 5 organizations in Paterson and East Orange to receive the toys that are now impacting 3,500 children with each round of shared play. 

Team captain, Gina Planas remarked, "What an exhilarating feeling to see how much we were able to accomplish and know this would immediately benefit so many children in need and the environment!”   

A permanent collection of gently used plastic toys is going on in Chantilly, VA. Thanks to the local 1-800-GOT-JUNK?, toys are being collected at their Chantilly garage all year long. But to make these toys ready for donation, they also need to be cleaned.

In steps Booz Allen to the rescue, whose Booz Allen Cares program encourages community service and provides for local volunteers. Thanks to this wonderful program, Second Chance Toys enlisted the involvement of 8 amazing volunteers who, in 3 hours' time, cleaned 650 toys!

We are grateful to all participants for making a difference in the lives of so many children at Northern VA Family Services Head Start and for helping to keep 2,600 lbs. of plastic out of our landfills. Your impact was tremendous and we look forward to continuing the effort. 

How does Second Chance Toys keep the engines running? We depend on the generosity of individuals, like you, that not only volunteer time and effort to collecting toys, but support us with monetary donations as well. We know from your feedback that the excitement of the collections and seeing firsthand the impact made on children and the environment is the inspiration behind your participation and support.  We are most grateful for your generosity.

We are also dependent upon our valued corporate supporters, that award us grants for the programs in which they participate. They understand that it not only takes volunteers, but that funding makes it possible to carry on our mission with greater impact. 

Making Our Corporate Programs Turnkey
There is much going on behind the scenes at Second Chance Toys to keep collections and toy cleaning events both engaging and running smoothly. Our Recycling Center/Corporate Clean Team Programs, our Green Team Programs and our Corporate Toy Collection Programs require pre-planning, logistics, matching with local organizations, on site staffing, setup, cleaning materials, transport of the toys and impact reports. We are very busy working to ensure that participation is easy and fun!

"Our corporate volunteers keep coming back year after year," notes Bronna Lipton, Executive Director of Second Chance Toys. "Part of the reason is, it's fun and meaningful and they get to witness firsthand the results of their efforts."

Viacom, Citi, Vonage, Health & Wellness Partners, 1-800-GOT-JUNK?, Booz Allen Hamilton, GEP, Kidville, NJ Natural Gas, and E*TRADE all partner with us in various ways that we tailor to meet their goals. Whether it is conducting internal collections, participating in our employee engagement toy cleanings at recycling centers, holding collections in multiple offices or stores, or volunteering to transport large toy collections to local organizations, our corporate supporters are vital to keeping our mission alive. 

Getting Involved
Showing support for Second Chance Toys means aligning with both a Good and Green cause, participating in a meaningful community service project and making a real difference in our environment and the lives of those less fortunate.

If you would like to support us financially, simply click here to donate online. Please contact us at if you are interested in volunteer opportunities for individuals or corporations. 

For the past five years, Booz Allen has volunteered with Second Chance Toys during Earth Month. Offices from around the country sign on to collect the toys and then volunteers work together to clean the toys before they are donated.

This year, 13 offices in 6 states plus the District of Columbia participated, and Second Chance Toys matched them with local organizations to receive their collections. Their efforts yielded a total of 1,255 toys that were kept out of landfills and put into the hands of children in need. That translates to 5,020 pounds of plastic that were kept out of the waste stream!

"It's great to see so many of our offices participating in an activity that promotes sustainability and at the same time helps children," exclaimed Elizabeth Wayt, Director Sustainability PMO, Booz Allen Hamilton.

Second Chance Toys is grateful for Booz Allen's annual participation in our Earth Month collection and for the generous grant they provide to support our programs.

Thank you all for another successful effort. 

Bradley Hills Elementary School (Bethesda, MD) partnered with Second Chance Toys as part of our annual "Bradley Beautiful" spring picnic event. This event brings the school community together and celebrates the great outdoors -- with activities including gardening, grounds clean up, recycling education, and collection of various household goods for donation / re-use and recycling (in addition to food, music, dancing and games!).  This year, we recycled lightly used plastic toys with Second Chance Toys and donated them to A Wider Circle. We also collected used sports equipment to donate to Level the Playing Field, plus used crayons and batteries for recycling.

For the 5th year in a row the River Edge Green Team had their annual toy drive with Second Chance Toys.  This is an organization that we love working with.  The gently used plastic toys are collected and given to different organizations  in New Jersey that serve children in need.  This year we worked with Joi’s Angels from East Orange and New Destiny School #6 in Paterson.  Due to the large amount of toys we collected, New Destiny was able to come and handpick the toys. Joi's Angels serves all different ages and completely loaded up their truck. Second Chance Toys not only selected the organizations that were matched with our collection, but they scheduled the arrival times to make donation of the many toys turnkey.

This program is a great way to save toys from going into the oceans and landfills, and brings life back to toys so other children can use them... a real live Toy Story!!!  It gives our community great pleasure to know the toys go to good use.  Over the years, we have seen that giving up beloved toys is not as easy as we may think. They represent memories with our own children. Seeing our toys move on is like sending our children off to college for the first time.  At least with Second Chance Toys we know the toys will keep on providing others with the tools of play and help them socially, emotionally and developmentally.  It sure is better than cluttering up our landfills!!  Our residents feel great about our program and save up each year, knowing that they can count on our collection during Earth Month.

We plan on doing this collection as long as possible. If I see toys on the curb I pick them up for our collection the following year.  It has become a habit to me and it’s a good for us all to have. In fact, that's how Second Chance Toys got started!

River Edge Green Team averages about 1000+ toys at our 4 -hour collection! Look for our announcements on our Green Team's new Instagram and Facebook pages.

Till next year save your toys... we’ll be back again. -Bonnie Stewart is the River Edge Green Team Chairperson



Even one child is enough for you to find your house suddenly inundated with toys. Families have a way of slowly accruing more and more toys, of a whole range of shapes and sizes. Apart from cluttering the house, causing dust and generally being a nuisance, there are also very good reasons to get rid of a few toys. When you have so many in your house that your kids don’t feel the added benefit of each, it might be time to start thinking about donating to those less fortunate. It can be a real challenge to persuade your little ones that this is the right thing to do, so here are a few ways to go about it.

  1. Build It Up as a Tradition
    If, from when your offspring are very little, even only a year old you are able to introduce a routine of giving away certain toys which have fallen out of favor, they are far less likely to ever cause a fuss over it in years to come. Anything which we grow up with being set in stone has a hold over us as we get older. So, this is a pretty good habit to get your kids into from as soon as they are old enough to have a collection of toys.

  2. Do It Around Christmas or Birthday Time
    Picking these times of year to donate toys can bring some unforeseen benefits. For a start, your kids are about to receive gifts and toys anyway. Another benefit is it allows you to bring in an element of thinking about other children and their situations, eagerly awaiting birthdays and Christmas times too. You can sell the idea that your child’s toys will make others less fortunate get excited about receiving a gift too.

  3. Inspire and Teach Empathy
    Related to the point above, using toy donations as a good little case study in empathy can be a great way to get your child to display it and to even learn what it is. You should ask your child to imagine that they didn’t have any toys and that their parents couldn’t afford to buy them. Ask them how they might feel and if receiving a good as new toy would help them feel better or happy in that situation. Empathy is an important life skill, so it’s a great way to practice it.

  4. Reward Them
    If your child does do a good job at giving up some of their toys and not complain about it, you should reward them. With young children, rewarding positive behavior is preferable to punishing negative behavior, so when the opportunity arises, take it.

  5. Make A Challenge Out of It
    Get your children to go on a hunt around the house to find any and all toys which could be considered unnecessary or unwanted. Then see how many points each of them gets based on their collection and reward them!


It will likely be a bit of a struggle, but finding where you can save space, clean up your house and benefit the lives of those with considerably less than you makes donating toys worthwhile. Get your kids involved and you’ll teach them a lesson that can last a lifetime.

Chloe Bennet is an educator from Essayroo and BoomEssays services. She researches new teaching trends and reviews latest edtech gadgets. Chloe tutors at UKWritings academic website.

Our first drive with Second Chance Toys could not have gone any better! We have many parents with all different backgrounds in our department at Capital One and this organization really touched many of their hearts on a personal level.  We were matched with a local YMCA that picked up the toys and even gave one of us a hug saying "Thank you! This is the biggest donation we have gotten this year!"  It was really inspiring to watch everyone come together for a good cause and to help the kids have a wonderful holiday season.  I will never forget this opportunity and organization.  I will always share the experience and how wonderful everyone was!

SCT was so easy to work with and if I had any questions or concerns their quick replies made it flawless with no stress at all! Thank you for giving us this opportunity SCT!