What Should I Do With My Old Car Seat
Whether your growing child is ready to move onto the next size up of car seat, or youve encountered issues with their car seat that means you cant use it, working out what to do with a large piece of complicated moulded plastic can leave many parents scratching their heads.
Read on for our advice on what you can do with old car seats, including making use of your warranty, handling car seats that have been in a vehicle crash, understanding the life span of a car seat, and whether you should chuck or recycle your old seat.
Baby Car Seat Expiry Explained
All manufacturers of baby car seats and booster seats in Canada determine an expiry date on their seats.
Car seats have expiration dates because the components wear out over time.
An expiration date tells you about the integrity of the seats parts like webbing, foam, buckles, plastic, and so on. They experience wear and tear over time, which hampers their ability to provide optimal protection for a child during car accidents.
The expiry varies from manufacturer to manufacturer due to different materials and components used in production. The date of manufacture and the expiration date is found on a sticker, usually affixed to the bottom or back of the car seat.
Walmart Car Seat Recycling
This is an excellent deal! Walmart announced they are accepting used car seats for recycling, and in return, you will receive a $30 Walmart gift card. If your little one is moving up to a new big kid car seat, you can roll that gift card over to the purchase of a new car seat or booster. This is a special event and will run from September 16-30th to coincide with Baby Safety Awareness Month. Walmart has partnered with TerraCycle and will be accepting car seats across nearly 4000 locations all over the country. Please note that each household will be limited to two gift cards.
TerraCycle will recycle every car seat brought into Walmart, which means all of the components of the car seat will avoid a landfill. While not the first partnership between TerraCycle and Walmart, but this is the first involving car seats. The company specializes in recycling otherwise non-recyclable items that usually end up in a landfill. They expect to divert so much plastic from the used car seats it would be equivalent to about 35 million water bottles! Awesome news for the environment and our landfills. We hope this will be a successful campaign for both companies and become an annual event.
Don’t Miss: Geico How To Cancel Policy
Car Seat Recycling: All About Your Childs Car Safety Seat
Before anything else, let us first talk about the recyclability of car seats. Are they recyclable?
Apparently, yes they are! Based on research, 90 per cent of a child car seat contains recoverable and recyclable materials. Furthermore, this includes the different parts of child car seats like rear-facing infant carriers and bases, forward-facing seats, and booster seats.
How To Dispose Of Your Car Seat
If you have a car that is still not expired and havent met any serious car accident, there are several ways through which you can get rid of your car seat.
However, if your car seat is broken, expired or unusable, the dumping zone is the only resort you have. Following detailed are all the methods through which you can easily dispose your car seat without making it a pain in the heart.
You May Like: Car Title Online Florida
Used Car Seat Checklist
It pays to be sure. Do your research. Have your seat checked. When in doubt, recycle it.
Kids use an average of three car seats before moving to a standard seat belt. Reusing a car seat can be an option to reduce waste and save costs, but only if you can answer yes to all of these questions. If not, please keep your children safe by recycling the seat.
The car seat can be reused if it:
Has not been in a crash and is not visibly damaged.
Has all its parts, including hardware, harness and tether straps.
Has an instruction book.
Disposing Of A Reusable Car Seat
Step 1: Contact parents you know. Reach out to the parents you know to see if they need a car seat.
Many people are hesitant to buy used car seats, in case theyre no longer in safe condition. As a result, its a good idea to look for people you know who need car seats, as theyre more likely to trust you when you tell them that the seat is still safe to use.
Email or call any parents you know with young children, or leave a flyer advertising the car seat at your childs preschool or daycare center.
- Tip: Since car seats can be very expensive, you may be able to find a friend whos willing to pay you a chunk of change for your used car seat.
Step 2: Donate the seat. Donate the car seat to a shelter or donation center.
Reach out to local shelters, as well as donation centers such as Goodwill, and see if any of them are interested in a safe-to-use old car seat.
Some of these places may not take car seat donations, in case the seats are no longer safe, but others will accept donations to help parents who cannot afford car seats.
Step 3: List the seat on Craigslist. Try to sell the car seat on Craigslist.
If you cant find anyone you know who needs your car seat, and your local shelters or donation centers wont accept it as a donation, try selling it on Craigslist.
Be sure to specify that your car seat has not been in an accident, and has not yet expired, otherwise people may not be interested in buying it.
Recommended Reading: How To Make Car Freshies With Pictures
Did You Know That
Canadians can not legally use an American, European, or a car seat from another country in Canada. It may be tempting, as car seats are usually much cheaper south of the border. Yet car seat and booster seat manufacturers produce seats specifically for the Canadian market according to Transport Canadas strict requirements which sometimes differ from that of other countries.
Canada-certified baby gear will have this round label on it:
If you visit Canada briefly, you may be exempt in certain circumstances, depending on the province regulations. Similarly, if you visit the United States for a vacation, you can bring with you and use your international car seat.
If Your Seat Does Meet The Regulations Or Is Made After January 2012 And Is Not Expired Or Damaged: You Are Free To Do With It As You Choose
Please keep in mind that Health Canada has rules around what can be sold. Please read their Facts for Garage Sale Vendors for more info.
Car seats must have a National Safety Mark and meet current regulatory requirements. Remember that it is illegal to sell car seats that do not meet the current regulatory requirements. You should always check with the manufacturer before selling a car seat. Car seats must come with warnings, guidelines for use, installation instructions, and date of manufacture. Do not sell a car seat that is past the lifespan recommended by the manufacturer or that has been in a vehicle during a collision. Before selling a used car seat, check with Transport Canada for more information and to find out if the car seat has been recalled. Also, be sure that it is in good condition with no missing parts and with functioning anchoring systems.
Please leave a comment below as other parents may have the same questions!
Please note: I am a certified Child Restraint Technician in Ontario, Canada. Please check your local laws about car seats and always read your vehicle owners manual and car seat manual before installing your child seats.
This data will be updated as required.
Recommended Reading: How To Put Oil In Car
Car Seat Recycling & Donation In Nebraska
- Nurture Omaha will recycle your car seat. Although they dont accept car seats all the time. More information here.
- Nebraska Childrens Home Society is focused on educating children and families, facilitating adoption, supporting foster parents and children, and walking beside families through every need and stage. They accept new infant and convertible car seats.
- Bethlehem House provides pregnant and parenting women in crisis, regardless of their faith preference, with a home, hope, and empowerment through life. They accept car seats that arent expired or recalled.
- Open Door Mission will also accept your car seat that is not expired.
- People’s City Mission helps people who find themselves not being able to make ends meet or are working to make a fresh start. They will accept your car seat donation and will give it to someone who needs it.
Save The Seat For A Younger Child
If your big kid is an older sibling, their seat might still be safe to use for their little sibling. Make sure to check the expiration date on the seat before putting it aside for later use. If its going to expire before theyll have a chance to use it, its best to just get rid of it properly and purchase a new seat.
Read Also: How To Repair Sun Damaged Car Paint
How Many Recycling Centres Accept Car Seat
If youre looking for a recycling centre that accepts car seats, here are some of them here in Australia:
Now, how much car seats are disposed of every year? The answer: 200,000. Unfortunately, most of these disposed of car seats go into landfill. Only a few of them are actually recycled. But the question is why?
That is because they are made from a mixture of materials. Components of a car seat must include rigid plastic, metal, and fabric. Additionally, they are strongly bonded together, so recycling a car seat is hard.
Some recycling centres dont accept them because of this. For this reason, what alternatives can we do to properly dispose of car seats?
Car Seat Recycling & Donation In California
- Car seats can be dropped off at the main entrance of Childrens Hospital Los Angeles between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. on the first Friday of each month. 4650 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027. Call 361-4697 for more information.
- Yolo County Health and Human Services have partnered with the Davis Waste Removal Company to offer an alternative to handing down unsafe car seats or throwing away car seats that are no longer being used. There are a couple of drop-off options in Yolo County.
- Founded by Stephanie Henderson, Hopes Closet accepts donated baby and childrens clothing, toys, books, car seats, and pretty much anything else needy parents could use.
Don’t Miss: Who Accepts Carcareone Credit Cards
Was Your Car Seat In A Collision
If your seat has been in a collision, it must be disposed of immediately. Even a minor fender bender has potential to damage the seat.
I hear a lot of parents say, but it wasnt a big collision, the seat is fine. My question is always, How do you know? There is no way to know the extent of the stress that a collision puts on a car seat. Manufacturers know this which it is why they print it in all car seat owners manuals to replace a seat after a collision.
Why would want to take a chance, and guess that the seat is fine? It would be very unfortunately to get in a second collision only to find out that the seat was not fine, and your child is injured or worse.
Please read below for how to dispose of an un-safe seat.
How To Dispose Of Unusable Seats
It happens. For whatever reason, you car seat cannot be used again. It might have expired, been involved in a recall that requires its destruction, or has been crashed. So now what to do with this hunk of plastic, fabric, and nylon that once protected a child?
One thing you should NOT do is donate it or sell it. The idea that it is better than nothing is not correct. The manufacturers set limits on their seats, or put out recalls, after millions of dollars of testing. If they no longer guarantee a seat will work to save a childs life, please believe them. No child then deserves that seat.
Some people will try to continue to use a seat, so you must actively protect the now useless seat against either well-meaning picker uppers or dumpster divers.
Probably the best option is to go green! See if theres a recycling center in your area. I recommend checking out Some centers may request that you break down the seat before you bring it in. Remove the cover and harness and bring the seat in naked. That makes it easier for them to continue the process and separate out the metal from the plastic.
If you dont have power tools, arms like Arnold, farm equipment, or guns, see how else you can make it undesirable. Writing all over it, DO NOT USE, EXPIRED, or DO NOT USE, CRASHED, may be good. If there are multiple languages used in your area, try to do all of them. Again, cut the harness. Destroy the cover.
Don’t Miss: How Long Will My Car Last
Can I Repair My Child’s Car Seat
If you encounter an issue with your car seat, you may be able to get it repaired, but this will depend on a range of factors including whether its still in warranty and if you still have proof of purchase.
Because of the nature of car seats, and their importance in keeping your baby or child safe, we dont recommend you attempt to fix it yourself. If the car seat is faulty and its out of warranty, wed always recommend you replace it.
Read on to find out what some of the key car seat manufacturers state about getting your car seat repaired.
Check Out Our Ideas On What To Do With An Old Baby Car Seat Learn Why Car Seats Expire How To Recycle A Car Seat And Where To Take An Old Car Seat To Trade
A baby car seat is an essential item when your family travels with a small child. But kids grow quickly, and you can go through two or three car seats in a span of a few years. Unless you have younger kids or friends with kids who you can hand down your car seat , you wont likely have any use for it. As a result, many parents are asking the same questions. What to do with the old baby car seat? How can I recycle an expired car seat? Where to take the old car seat to ensure it doesnt end up in the landfill?
At times, we are tempted to dump our old car seat in an attic or the corner of the garage, where it sits collecting dust until it expires. However, there are many better options for what to do with an old car seat. Let me bounce some ideas off you here adding to your parents’ resources!
Read Also: How To Make Freshies For Your Car
What To Do With Extra Garbage
- Coquitlam Recycling and Waste Centre dispose of extra garbage or garbage that is not permitted in your Garbage Cart .
- Large Item Pick-Up If you have a large item that cannot fit into your Garbage Cart or cannot be donated, it may be eligible as part of our Large Item Pick-Up program.
- Upsize your Garbage Cart If you often have extra garbage that does not fit into your Garbage Cart, consider exchanging it for a bigger size.
Old Car Seat New Life
If youve wondered what to do with your childs outgrown car seat, youre not alone! Many families are choosing to reuse and recycle children’s products, even when options are difficult to find.
With the Old Car Seat, New Life project, we’ve compiled resources from across the continent so that concerned families in the U.S. and Canada can find a way to keep their car seats out of the landfill and conserve valuable resources.
We’d love to hear from you if you know a program for reuse or recycling that should be included!
You May Like: How To Remove Hardened Tree Sap From Car
Where Do I Recycle My Seat
COVID has changed many business protocols. Please to make sure they are still accepting car seats before you take your seat.
Do you know of a program that should be on this list? Please contact us with the information.
If you are unable to find a recycling option that meets your needs, please cut the straps on your seat and place it in your garbage.
Recycling Programs in the United States
All United States: Most years, Target Stores offers free in-store car seat recycling in April and September. Please check their website for announcements.
Safe from the Start CPS Program
Special Instructions: Contact Heather Smith at 231-0304. No charge. Bring seat as is.
4650 Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Special Instructions: Car seats can be dropped off at the main entrance of Childrens Hospital Los Angeles between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. on the first Friday of each month. No cost.
For questions on locations and time contact Maria at 406-4410 or email
Various locations throughout state. Please consult website for current locations.
1255 Roosevelt Avenue
Indianapolis, Indiana 46202
Special Instructions: Remove cover. Recycling is free. Drop off is Monday through Friday 8am 4pm, Saturday 9 am 1 pm.
Harford Waste Disposal Center Recycling Station
3241 Scarboro Road
Street, MD 21154