May 13, 2008

recycle car seats?

Renee over at enviromom posted a very interesting question and idea. She writes about a local car seat recycling program in Portland, Oregon. It sounds so logical and wonderful, but is actually kind of complex to put into practice.

Think of all the car seats we all end up using, and how they are not ideal to pass on very much because after 5 or 6 years the safety is questionable. That is a lot of bulky material, plastics and Styrofoam heading to landfills everywhere.

Renee is seeking comments on her post to get a sense of the demand for car seat recycling programs. She asks,

"Would you recycle your child's expired car seat if you had the option to do so? Do you feel it's time for a national car seat recycling program? Would you write to car seat manufacturers about the importance of design for disassembly? If you comment, please let us know where you live, how many seats your family will use during your children's car seat years, and if you are ready to be part of the "critical mass" to let car seat manufacturers know it's time for a national program to take back and recycle those old car seats!!"

Way to be a proactive, powerful and inspiring green mom, Renee! I think I'll go leave my comment for her now.


Jill said...

I absolutely think it's time for a national car seat recycling program. I am appauled that upon googling "recycling a car seat" I was unable to find any other option other than smashing it with a sledge hammer, cutting the straps and tossing it into the trash. I imagined the hundreds of thousands of seats every year being thrown into landfills. With all the buzz of being "green" today I cannot believe there are no other options. What a shame!

Mom of 3 in Michigan and owner of 5seats so far...

scarivin said...

I found this blog simply because I am trying to find a program to which I can donate my defunct car seats!. I have twins and 3 pairs of car seats. There seems to be a program in Colorado, but I can't find one in San Francisco.

mom go green said...

thanks for finding the blog! here in sf i have since found that the homeless prenatal program accepts used car seats as a donation (among other baby or pregnancy items).

mell said...

I would love to see a national car seat recycling program. Living in California you would think there would at least be one for the state but so far no luck finding one. We were able to use a car seat that my husbands first child had outgrown for a year with our daughter before it expired but now that we've bought a new car seat I hate to see the old one wind up in a landfill. Since we've just had our second child and are planning on more in a couple years we'll wind up having to buy new car seats for our future children. I've purchased an all-in-one seat for our new born and a forward facing car seat that becomes a belt positioning booster for our 18 month old so that we don't have to buy the infant carrier and then a regular car seat and then a booster, it makes me feel a little more eco friendly but if it winds up in the trash anyway - that's depressing.

Mom of two and six years before my current car seats expire, hopefully we'll have a solution before then.

shari said...

I found this blog while searching for car seat recycling options for Washington state. Unless you live near Portland (Legacy Hospital has a program), the options are to: take it apart (you can recycle the metal and plastic) or toss it at the dump. As a family of 4 who recycle & compost to the extent that we put out 1garbage can every 2 weeks, this gives me the heebie-jeebies. Call you waste mgt. services and politicians and demand a car seat recycling option!

Ava S. said...

I live in Connecticut and have hit one brick wall after another trying to find a place to recycle car seats! I currently have 3 to recycle and CAN'T STAND to throw them in the trash so I've been holding onto them for A YEAR in my basement! What really frustrates me is that these car seats are in excellent condition and we were the original owners, but I still can't even GIVE them away just because of the recommendations!! It is really maddening when I see babies being held in someone's LAP driving down the road and I figure an outdated car seat is better than none at all!! I'm very frustrated and definitely will call Graco and Cosco to put in my 2 cents, which will probably be disregarded...

Anonymous said...

Yes we need a recycling program for used and expired car seats. I am still trying to hunt down a program, if there is one in California..........

Anonymous said...

I just thought everyone should know that I found this really cool website that is recycling baby gear.
Babies grow up quickly and your beloved car seats, strollers, swings and highchairs end up as junk, collecting dust in the garage. Sadly, many of these items are thrown away, ending up in landfills. Well, not anymore. BabyEarth RENEW, a hassle-free baby gear recycling program. Just pay for shipping to their location in Texas and they take of the rest for you and they happily send you a $5.00 off coupon to shop on their site.

Yvonne said...

I agree. It's been on my mind
since I will have to get another
car seat if we have a second child.

It's great that the government has
made it a priority to keep our
children safe in the car but the whole picture requires a safe future environment for our children
as well.

I would like to be a part of a letter/email campaign to manufacturers and the government
and would rally friends/family to do the same.
Yvonne of 1 toddler in Ontario, Canada

Yvonne said...

I have been thinking about a
a car seat recycling program
since I would require a new
one if we have a 2nd child.
*It's great the government
has made a children's safety
a priority but has not looked
at the whole picture. What
about a safe future environment
for our children?
*I would like to be a part of a
letter/email campaign directed
towards manufacturers and the
government and I would rally
friends/family for a recyclable
car seat program.
*Yvonne, mother of 1 toddler in
Ontario, Canada

D.A. said...

Yes I would definitly particapate. I have 2 booster seats and 1 car seat noone wants because they are to old. I hate to put them in the trash to stay in the land fill.

D.A. in MA

Anonymous said...

i absolutely think we need to have a recycling program for old & used car seats....HOW can there NOT be one already?? I live in Toronto, Canada and am blown away by the fact that the only option I have seen so far is to throw the seat(s) away.....WOW. Is it 2009?? Lets get a move on ladies and get this world to upgrade itself to our level.

Anonymous said...

Yes, we should absolutely recycle car seats.
Mom of 2 in Massachusetts. 4 seats so far.

Anonymous said...

Yes yes yes! I am expecting twins this summer and am just coming to realize the issue with car seats. We will probably have 4 seats and 2 booster seats to recycle by the time my kids can just be belted in.

Anonymous said...

I feel the car seats should be required to be recycled. I won't throw my car seats out because I can't bring myself to do it. It seems like such a waste. It just feels wrong. We need a means to recycle items like these.

Anonymous said...

For anyone living in Massachusetts or Eastern Pennsylvania, there is an organization called Cradles to Crayons that will take gently used car seats that have not yet expired, and distribute them to local families in need. Great organization. Check out

Bronwen, Mother of 2 boys said...

We definitely need to recycle car seats. It's crazy the amount of things that end up in the landfills! Colorado has a car seat recycling program. Check it out:

Let's get on board!

Anonymous said...

I agree. Let's do it!

Anonymous said...

I too have been curious about a program to recycle car seats. So, I just emailed Maclaren, to see if they have a program or know of a program that collects our old car seats. They seem to be one of the few "baby" companies online, that had the word "recycled" connected to it. I recommend that everyone contact the maker of your car seat and ask them this same question. If you get a response, please post it and we can spread the info.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I am to a mother of two and have way to many car seats...I found this site because I am looking for somewhere to take all my car seats.....instead of the dump....please, we all need to get our voices heard they/someone could be melting down these seats and make other plastic materials from them.....also the fabric can be done something with.....I am just getting started on my adventure of finding something in my area, maybe there is and I just have not found it yet?!!!

Anonymous said...

Well I am here just the same as the rest of everyone....don't want to put my car seats in the dump.....what a waste :(

Anonymous said...

In case anyone lives in Northern New New Jersey, there are a few places to recycle your old child carseat. You can check out the link

I found this to be a resourceful site, just like yours :-)

Plastic City Production said...

I am in the same boat.. I have spent the last few hours searching endlessly on how to recycle 3 car seats that I have expired! It's ridiculous that they expire within 5 years but haven't thought about the environmental consequences of disposing these seats that will become toxic in our landfills! The government should be looking at ways to recycle all the millions of seats that are thrown out every year! We live in such a wasteful world! Hayely

Anonymous said...

I too agree that it is high time that the car seat manufactuers started making the seats easier to disassemble and recyle. By the time my girls are done we will probably have more than 10 seats because of all the adults who transport them. I've hung on to all of them b/c I can't stand the thought of throwing them out. I'm in NH and shipping them to TX or to CO would be very expensive, so I'm eager for any other alternative!