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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 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.

That’s according to statistics from 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 has launched SeatSmart in several locations across the country, including Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, Hastings, Palmerston North, Whanganui, Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch and Dunedin. 

“The reaction to the programme has been overwhelmingly positive, with strong demand for the programme to now expand to other centres” says Mrs. Bye.

Currently collected car seats are dismantled by Department of Corrections as part of their community work programmes, and the recovered plastic is recycled into new products used in the building industry. 

Metal parts are also easily recycled.

“The straps and webbing are used by Karkt NZ and The Green Collective who 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


SeatSmart is supported by Auckland Council, Baby on the Move, Hastings District Council, Plunket and the Department of Corrections, plus Sustainable Initiatives Fund in Christchurch.

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

To cover the cost of recycling there is a $10 fee (RRP) charged at drop off.

For more information head to the SeatSmart website www.SeatSmart.co.nz.
 

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