Recycling and Car seats

Recycling Car Seats


Earth Day is a great way to think about how you can have a positive impact on our environment. Recycling is a great way to recuse and reduce various materials such as plastic. When thinking about car seats, it is important to know how to best recycle an old car seat. While thrifting or secondhand clothing, may be a great way to reuse clothing materials, we do not recommend using a second-hand or used car seats. With used car seats, you cannot guarantee the car seat still has all the necessary safety features that were included on the original model. You also don’t know if the car seat has been in a wreck in the past, so it is best to stick with buying a new car seat. 

If your car seat has expired, been in a wreck, or your child has outgrown the current seat, it is important to dispose of the car seat correctly. The best alternative is to recycle as much of the seat as you can yourself. Before you disassemble the car seat, ask your local department of public works whether the plastic from the seat is accepted in the local recycling program—some seats have metal molded in, which would prevent them from being recycled. 

If you're ready to retire a seat, use the tips below. They're especially important, because data shows that you'll go through three car seats for each of your kids over the years.

  1. Use scissors to cut off the fabric, foam padding, and harness straps from the seat.
  2. Use a Phillips-head screwdriver to remove as much metal as possible. Some cannot be removed easily.
  3. Remove the car seat cover and any padding underneath it.
  4. Discard the fabric, foam padding, straps, and mixed metal/plastic pieces and small
    plastic pieces.
  5. Mark the plastic as expired or unsafe.
  6. Recycle the bulky plastic body and all metal pieces.

We can all play an important role in reducing waste in our environment. By recycling your car seat properly, you can help your community as well as your child. Again, recycling is important but do not use a used car seat at the expense of your child’s safety. Take a step towards creating a positive environment by checking the expiration date of your car seat and ensuring your child has not out grown their current car seat. We can each help make the world a better place one step at a time.