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MEA Council launch pre-loved toys scheme for third year




Christmas containers are being set up at four Household Recycling Centres (HRCs) across Mid and East Antrim, with an additional drop off point at Carrickfergus Enterprise, so pre-loved toys can be given a new home this festive season.

This Christmas, why not give those unwanted and pre-loved toys lying around the house to those who find this time of year more challenging.


For the third year running, Mid and East Antrim Borough Council is working in partnership with Habitat for Humanity, East Belfast Mission (Restore) and local community groups including Glenravel and District Community and Residents Association, Larne Community Care Centre Group and Carrickfergus Enterprise to deliver a toy donation scheme.

The project will run between Monday 22 November and Saturday 11 December. Toy drop off points will be at our four open Household Recycling Centres:

  • Waveney Road HRC, Ballymena – Monday to Saturday 9am to 5pm

  • Redlands HRC, Larne – Monday to Saturday 9am to 5pm

  • Larne South HRC, Islandmagee – Monday to Saturday 9am to 5pm

  • Glenarm HRC – Wednesday and Saturday 9am to 5pm.


A new drop off point at Carrickfergus Enterprise, Meadowbank Road, Carrickfergus, will also be open from Monday to Thursday, 9am to 5pm and Friday, 9am to 4pm.


Residents from the borough can drop off pre-loved and unwanted toys into a specially designated container at each of the sites.

Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Councillor William McCaughey, said:

“We hope that through this scheme, more perfectly good toys will be re-used rather than just being thrown away. We are supporting the waste hierarchy which promotes prevention of waste and re-using, where possible.

“The ideal toys that we would be looking for would be: kids bicycles, scooters, plastic seesaws, small plastic slides etc, games, vtech toys, jigsaws, books, dolls, robots, most plastic/wooden toys etc, in good working order. We can not accept soft plush toys such as teddy bears.”

Site attendants and Carrick Enterprise staff will be on hand to direct you to the container, and Council will donate these to local charities who will provide access to the public to purchase these unwanted and pre-loved toys, at a very reasonable price and to local community centres who will gift them to local families.


Isobel Kerr, Habitat for Humanity, said:

“We are delighted to be part of the Christmas Toy Container appeal at this time of year, which can be so challenging for families on low incomes. We look forward to being able to offer families the opportunity to get good, quality toys at low cost.”

A spokesperson for East Belfast Mission, added:

“Larne Restore are delighted to be part of this great partnership at a time when we should all be thinking of others.”

Carrickfergus Enterprise, said:

“Carrickfergus Enterprise are delighted to work with Mid and East Antrim Borough Council to support this great project to promote re-use, support a circular economy and gift pre-loved toys to local families this Christmas.”


Our new toy gifting partners this year, Glenravel and District Community and Residents Association, added:

“We are delighted to be involved in the Christmas Toy Container project this year. It is such a great idea to share pre-loved toys with those in need.”

Over 8.5 million toys are thrown away each year in the UK, which adds to the landfill tonnage we through away in one year.

In 2019, Council diverted over 1 tonne of toys from landfill and gifted to local communities, with 2.3 tonnes diverted and gifted in 2020.

We hope to exceed this figure this Christmas, reducing landfill, protecting the environment and helping others.

Residents are kindly asked to ensure toys are in good, clean condition, and are complete, for example, full jigsaw, or toys with all the smaller parts included. Residents will need to drop off toys without assistance from our site attendants, in line with the ongoing restrictions.

If you have any queries please contact waste.helpdesk@midandeastantrim.gov.ukor alternatively phone 0300 124 5000, Option 0.