I have been trying and trying to figure out which toys can be recycled, and how you can identify them. The bottom line seems to be that most of them can’t be recycled. One website I found made the point that even if you can recycle plastic, most of what is made from the recycled material is not recyclable. I also found out that just because it has a recycle symbol on it doesn’t mean it can be recycled, it only indicates what type of plastic it is, and it is hard to locate places that recycle mixed plastics, which are what is used in most toys. In fact, I haven’t found one yet in my area (Los Angeles). An article by Susan Carpenter, the “Garbage Maven” ran in the LA Times on Saturday, April 16 in the Home section. It is very enlightening and speaks to what I was thinking myself, that it would be great if the toy companies would do a take back program. An excerpt:

I have yet to see a single toy marked with a chasing arrows symbol indicating it can be recycled. Most toys are made from mixed materials, usually some combination of metal and a mind-boggling array of plastics. Many of them also incorporate electronics.
Most broken toys should be thrown in the black trash bin, according to the Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation. Nonoperational toys with electronic components are e-waste and may need to be taken to one of the electronic trash drop-off locations in your municipality. (In California, check www.myecollective.com.)
Then there are the toys that have been recalled. Since February 2009, when the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act significantly lowered lead and phthalate limits in children’s products, the Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued more than 60 recalls affecting millions of children’s toys. Most of the recalls have been for products that present choking, burning, strangulation, ingestion or laceration hazards, or that contain lead paint. In many area, those recalled toys also should be taken to hazardous waste drop-off sites.
Read more: http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/mobile/?type=story&id=2014813187&