Recycling Cribs

Related Pages:  Advice about Cribs ... Advice about Reuse & Recycling

Editor note: In 2010, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission banned cribs with drop-down sides because they have been blamed for the deaths of at least 32 infants since 2001. Drop-side cribs were under scrutiny for many years; more than 11 million were recalled 2007-2010. For more info, including recalled brands and checking your older crib for safety, see

Parent Q&A

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  • How to toss out a recalled baby crib?

    (3 replies)

    Hi Parents, I collected a free baby crib and mattress on FB Marketplace recently.  I should have done more research ahead of time because upon bringing it home, I discovered that this particular crib had been recalled.  I don't want to keep it, and don't feel comfortable giving it away to another family. What's the best way to toss the furniture?  Is scheduling a bulky waste pickup from the Dept of Public Works the only option? 

    There are some fun ways to re-purpose an unsafe crib - you could try posting it for free somewhere for someone who'd like to use it for a project. Just make sure you clarify that it's been recalled so it's for re-purposing rather than for sleeping.

    If the recall was because it's a drop-side crib, and it's the kind that converts to a single bed, you may still in good conscience be able to give it away for use as a bed as long as you specify that it's not safe as a crib. I gave our drop-side crib away like this years ago - I removed the drop-side hardware so someone wouldn't be tempted to use it as a crib, just for my own peace of mind/liability. Depending on the style there may also be someone who wants to use the pieces as a day bed, headboard, garden trellis, etc. - in my experience, it never hurts to put the info out there and see if someone can use it.  If you just want it gone, bulky waste pickup is probably your best option. Oakland Recycles ( used to do periodic Bulky Waste Drop-off events, but I think they've all been canceled during the pandemic.

    Your local trash company should take it.  You are allowed one or two over sized pick-ups per year.  Otherwise Berkeley disposal min fee is $30. 

Archived Q&A and Reviews



Recycling components after crib-to-toddler-bed conversion

Feb 2012

I just converted my son's crib to a toddler bed and am wondering if anybody knows where we can recycle (or dispose of, if necessary) the big front piece that came off of it. Urban Ore, Ohmega Salvage and the East Bay Creative Use Depot don't want it. The store where we bought it also had no ideas. We definitely won't be using it as a crib again. Thanks! Heather

Contact SCRAP Center for Creative Reuse,, 415.647.1746. They accept wood and trim among diverse materials that can be turned into something else! Terry

Personally, even if it is a pain, I try to keep parts of things together so they can be used by somebody else when we are done with them. We converted my son's crib to a bed and the front crib piece is now stowed in the back of the closet against the wall. When he's ready for a bigger bed, we'll give the crib/tot bed away with all the pieces. --Been There

You might be surprised what people will take for free; they have ideas! Could it be used as a trellis, maybe? You could try posting on BPN Marketplace, craigslist or A good description is always helpful (material, color, dimensions); BPN & craigslist will also let you link to a photo (though freecycle doesn't). R.K.

I recommend that you tuck the crib parts away until you are done with the toddler bed stage and then give the whole thing away on craigs list or at a garage sale. Organizations will not take bed frames anymore due to bed bug fears, even if they are not infested. So direct donation ... Or leaving on a corner near many homes with children with a big ''FREE'' sign on it may be the best way. If you do leave it on a corner,, keep checking back to make sure it is taken...and if it is not, you should dispose of it yourself at the ''dump''. Recycling parent too.

You said that you won't be using it as a crib again, but in just a few years your toddler will outgrow it, and you'll be looking to sell it or give it away. There is a much bigger demand for cribs than for toddler beds, so I think you should store the crib part for that day that is coming soon!

Can't sell it, can't give it away. Landfill?

Oct 2011

My littlest one is now in a big bed, and we're cleaning out so the drop side crib has to go. I can't sell it, I can't give it away - clearly the recall is there for good reason, so it can't be used for a baby. But, I'm trying to be a little eco-conscious and hope that someone out there repurposes these for something. What suggestions would people have for me besides sending it to the dump?

We repurposed our crib by converting it into a toddler bed. We took one of the sides out. I am not sure if my husband bolted down the other side or not, but it really shouldn't matter since that is against the wall. We shortened the legs so our toddler can climb up by herself. Reuse the mattress and you are set! love repurposing

Safety First! I suggest you DO NOT USE the drop-side crib without securing the sides. This is life and death... and an avoidable accident. I have secured a couple of these cribs so the sides no longer drop... a good handy person can do that for you.

What do with crib that shouldn't be used?

Oct 2010

We inherited a very nice crib from my sister. It is a ten year old Morigeau wooden crib with a drop side. Unfortunately drop sided cribs are no longer recommended, and what makes it worse is that we lost all the hardware during our move. All this has persuaded me that I should not use this crib for our baby. I also don't want to sell it or donate it because I figure if it's not safe for me, it shouldn't be safe for anyone else. I'm just casting out for ideas for what to do with a perfectly beautiful, but possibly unsafe, crib, other than taking it to the city dump. Anyone else in this situation and/or has practical suggestions? TZ

I think some crib manufacturers will provide kits to turn a drop-side crib into a stationary-side crib. Doing that might make it safely usable again. You'd think there'd be some sort of standard kit or directions out there, since it's such a wide-spread problem, but I couldn't find anything in a quick Google search. Hopefully someone else will have more info for you. In the Same Boat

Babies R Us periodically has a trade in event where you can bring in an old crib (or car seat or a list of other big ticket items) and in return you get 20% discount off. We got rid of our expired car seat that way. My understanding is the trade in items get discarded. anon

Several ideas. You can disassemble it, remove brackets and recycle the wood. You can offer pieces of it up on freecycle, in a way that someone can't use it as a crib. You could try converting the side railings into furniture. I recently took my son's old toddler bed sides and attached sliding shelves to the rails to make a nice storage unit. Wood can almost always be re-purposed. Good luck. anon

We have a drop-side crib from our older child we used for our younger. I didn't like the drop side anymore so we pushed that side against the wall and just lifted the baby out over the non-drop side. The mattress is adjustable in height so lifting her out was never a problem, and when we put it on the lowest setting as she grew, by that time she could stand and lifting out was easy. She's been in that crib 3 years with zero issues with the drop-side, since we don't use it. Used crib worked for us

I think just about everyone is going to be in this boat since the consumer product safety commission is about to say that all drop-side cribs are not to be used anymore. It's a bummer to throw away my expensive Italian crib but such is. Maybe someone can use the wood for a table or something Laura

We went through the same dilemma with a slightly more recent crib (not drop side, but it was recalled). If the crib has been recalled, or the manufacturer is willing to take it back, they will give you a voucher good for the purchase of another crib (most likely from the store that sells similar cribs to the old one). To get the voucher the manufacturers typically asks you to mail them the hardware, and a photo of the label on the crib. So, if you can find the hardware (bolt plates, and screws), you could get yourself a brand new crib.

That still leaves you with the big pieces of the crib which, you are right, seem to be a waste to just throw away. We tried to find some other application that wouldn't be a danger to anyone, but in the end we stored them until babies r us had a trade-in event (they do this once in a while to take recalled stuff like that off circulation). They give you a 20% (maybe 25%) coupon which is good for any purchase from them that same day. So, if there is something expensive you want to get from there, wait until the trade-in event. I can only hope that what they collect does get recycled or reused in some other way. Olivier

I bet you could use the head and foot board pieces to make a really nice toddler bed. Kathleen

I saw a friend of mine transform the crib into a kind of sofa/lounge chair in the toddler's room. She did this by removing the drop side entirely, and filling the interior space with pillows and stuffed animals. Looked very cozy. I don't know if your child is old enough for this kind of arrangement, but at some point he or she will be, and it could be a fun little den to hang out in. Anon

We just got some hardware and screwed the drop side into the corners so that it can't go anywhere now. It's pretty easy to do with a drill and some screws. Works great for us. -skip the dump, and modify it