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What to do with an expired car seat

 
Is your child’s car seat about to expire? You might be surprised to know that more than 40,000 child car restraints expire each year in New Zealand. You’ll also be surprised to know that the majority of these end up in landfill, despite over 90% of a typical seat being recyclable. Find out how you can recycle or repurpose your kids expired or damaged car seats.
Is your child’s car seat about to expire or has it become damaged in some way?

Find out how you can recycle or repurpose kids expired or damaged car seats and ensure they don't end up as landfill - it’s easier than you might think!
 

What to do with an expired car seat


You might be surprised to know tens of thousands of child car restraints expire each year in New Zealand. You’ll also be surprised to know that the majority of these end up in landfill, despite much of a seat’s materials being recyclable.

That’s according to SeatSmart, New Zealand’s only child car seat recycling programme.

“Many people aren’t aware that kids car seats have a limited life span of 6 to 10 years,” says Toni Bye, SeatSmart programme manager.

“For a variety of reasons, the materials can degrade and weaken over time, which may affect how they would perform in an accident.

“People generally send their kids old car seats to the landfill, which is a waste of resources, or pass them on, which could unnecessarily put a child at risk.
 
Recycling & repurposing kids car seats

“With SeatSmart, expired or damaged car seats can be safely taken out of circulation and the materials recycled or repurposed.”

Hastings-based recycling specialists, 3R Group launched SeatSmart in 2016 and has kids car seat collection sites in 10 regions around the country, including Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, Hastings, Palmerston North, Whanganui, Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch and Dunedin.

Collected seats are dismantled and the recovered plastic is recycled. Metal parts are also easily recycled.

“The straps and webbing are used by companies like The Green Collective or social enterprises, which make handmade bags from a variety of recycled items.

Only fabric covers and polystyrene, around 6% of a seat’s weight, are currently unable to be recycled – but we’re always open to ideas!”
 
Kids car seat expiry dates

Along with reducing waste to landfill, the programme also aims to improve awareness of kids car seat expiry dates.

“Some people continue to use restraints after expiry because of a lack of understanding that exposure to sunlight, changes in temperature, and stress caused by accidents, can damage and weaken plastic.

“Giving people the choice of a positive disposal option for their kids car seats will improve outcomes for both the environment and children on our roads,” says Mrs. Bye.
 
What to do with damaged & expired car seats

If your kids car seat is damaged or has expired, you can take it to one of the SeatSmart drop off points around the country.

The programme charges a recycling fee to cover the cost of transport, handling and dismantling. This varies depending on whether a council subsidy is in place or not, so please head to the SeatSmart website www.SeatSmart.co.nz to check for your nearest collection site and its fee.
 

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Source: This article was written by SeatSmart - New Zealand’s only child car seat recycling programme.
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