How to Dispose of a Car Seat? 4 Easy Ways!

Your child’s car seat has seen it all, from leakages to spills and whatnot. It has been a part of all your various adventures and vacations.

Like all good things, your car seat’s life also comes to an end. And when the time comes, you have to dispose of your baby’s car seat.

But the question is, what are you supposed to do with the car seat now?

Well, you shouldn’t throw them out with your regular trash. They need proper disposal. Let’s learn more about that.

What Should You Do With Old Car Seats?

When a car seat approaches the end of its useful life, it is critical to dispose of it properly.

As car seats are made of hard and rigid plastic, throwing them off in the trash is harmful to the environment.

You should not dump your old car seat in a dumpster or leave it out on the roads, especially if it is not entirely damaged.

If your car seat has worn out or the fabric is not up to par anymore, throwing the entire seat in the trash is still wasteful.

You can still repair and give it someone who could make good use of a damaged or broken car seat.

Moreover, if you just throw away your old car seat without any warning labels, chances are someone might pick it up, not knowing it could be a serious health hazard.

Therefore, to save the environment and your community, it is essential to practice the safe disposal of car seats.

Continue reading our guide on how to properly dispose of a car seat to find out how you can do that.

When Should Car Seats Be Disposed Of?

The disposal time of car seats is determined by the estimated life of various components and the seat’s structure. The expiry date also depends on how old your car seat’s model is.

Sometimes, you might just want to get rid of your old car seat so that you can upgrade to a newer one.

Modern car seat models feature more advanced safety functions and comply with the latest safety requirements.

The typical age of a car seat is 6 to 8 years, depending on the manufacturer and model.

You can find out the age of your car seat by inspecting the labels on the seat or referring back to the owner’s manual for the exact date of purchase.

Alternatively, there are various other reasons for you to dispose of an old car seat. Here is what they are:

If the car seat was involved in a mild-to-severe crash

While the majority of seats can be reused following a minor fender bender, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) suggests substituting them if they have been struck by a car that resulted in injuries.

If the car seat has outgrown the child

This one may appear self-evident, but upgrading the sea according to your child’s physical growth is critical.

The seat has been wrecked. Examine the straps and fasteners for cracks, loose pieces.

If the seat is destroyed, it may not provide adequate protection in case of accidents. 

Can Car Seats Be Recycled?

Car seats are composed of approximately 92 percent recyclable materials by weight, but are ineligible for regular recycling pick-up.

They’re too huge and need extensive disassembly to recycle – which is why they currently wind up in the garbage.

Various industrial and environmental groups are working on specialized recycling projects to solve this problem.

For the time being, here is what you need to do:

How to Dispose of an Old Car Seat?

When it comes to the safe disposal of used or old car seats, there are various options you can consider.

Let’s review them:

Option # 1: Watch Out for Trade-in Days

These trade-in programs help bring a non-functional car seat in return for a coupon.

When you trade-in with these baby-related electronics, various popular Homestore companies may offer you a certain percentage discount offer on a new one.

Trade-in events are unquestionably the most convenient alternative, and we strongly suggest them.

Not only do you dispose of your old car seat, but you also get a great discount on a replacement seat for your child.

Most locations are extremely selective when it comes to used car seats, even if they are still in perfect shape.

However, certain organizations may continue to accept them. Inform them regarding the car’s condition, so they know what to expect.

After all, you don’t want to jeopardize the safety of anyone.

Option # 2: Donate to Your Local Shelter Home or Charity

Another great option for disposing of old car seats is by giving them to your local shelter home or charity.

Frequently, foster families lack basic essentials such as car seats. Consider giving the car seat away to such organizations.

Option # 3: Give It to Your Local Church Organization

If your car seat is still in usable condition, check with your local church organization if they need one.

Some church organizations may have ministries that distribute car seats to low-income families.

This is another viable choice, particularly if you support the ideology of giving back to the community.

Option # 4: Get in Touch with Child Passenger Safety Specialists CPSTs

Child passenger safety specialists (CPSTs) receive extensive training on car seat protection and proper installation.

They educate parents on the basics of using equipment like child seats.

Contact a CPST to see if they would be interested in acquiring your old seat for display.

How to Recycle your Old Car Seat?

Rather than discarding the old car seat, you can consider recycling it. If they do, the following steps should be taken:

Fortunately for you, there are various ways to recycle a car seat.

Save Your Old Car Seats for Later

Reserving the seat for your second kid is a good idea. If your older child has a sibling on the way, their old seat may still be suitable for the younger ones.

Check the expiry date on the seat prior to saving it for future use. In case the expiry label is close to the current date, it’s better to properly dispose of it and purchase a replacement seat.

Find a Trade-In Program That Recycles Car Seats

Throughout the year, select retailers offer trade-in programs that focus on recycling old products.

Drop off your used seat and receive a voucher for a new car seat in exchange.

The old, discarded car seats are refurbished, and recycled plastic is decomposed to produce new things.

Contact Your Nearest Recycling Center

Inquire whether your local recycling center accepts car seats and how they prefer to receive them.

Make sure you contact them and get all the details about their requirement. Some recycling centers ask for specific packaging requirements.

Some may require you to bring the naked frame, while others may want it to be completely disassembled first.

Remove all of these items:

  • Fabric
  • Foam
  • Straps
  • Harness
  • Belt
  • Metal Components
  • Wheels if you have
  • Any decorative elements
  • All plastic accessories

Keep in mind that this step is only necessary if your recycling center has specified it in its guidelines. This is why you should contact them first and get all the important details on their requirements.

Various recycling centers accept used car seats as it is, so you can skip the above hassle if that’s the case with you.

Moreover, you may also need to schedule a pick-up or drop-off time with them to avoid any inconvenience.

Recycle the Car Seat Yourself

If there is no recycling facility nearby you accepting outdated car seats, you may have to do it yourself.

You will start by disassembling all the components and then seeing which parts can be repurposed and which cannot.

The unusable parts will go straight to the trash can while other materials will be repurposed.

How to Responsibly Dispose of Your Car Seat in a Dumpster?

If all the above options fail, your last resort is to dispose of your used car seat in the dumpster.

As with recycling, there are specific criteria for safely discarding a car seat in the trash:

  • Get rid of all the filling or foam
  • Remove all belts, handles and straps
  • Take away the plastic and metal pieces
  • Label the trashbag with a ‘UNSAFE’ or ‘DO NOT USE’ sign
  • Properly seal the trashbag using sturdy tapes so it does not tear

You can also contact your local garbage removal services and ask them for specific guidelines for disposing of bulky items like a car seat.

Some local dumpsters might accept a used car seat as it is, while others may require specific instructions. Give them a call just be on the safe side.

The Bottom Line

We hope you like our article on ‘how to properly dispose of a car seat.’

By ensuring that out-of-date or damaged car seats are properly disposed of, we can help reduce pollution and protect the environment. Good luck!

If you have any comments or questions about car seat disposal, please leave them in the comments section below.

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