What Should I Do With This Used Child Car Seat?

The good news is that advancements in child safety seat technology mean that the products we depend on to protect our tiniest citizens from injury in a car crash are getting safer all the time. The bad news is that these advancements, and close monitoring of child safety products, mean that car seats are getting outmoded or recalled for safety reasons all the time. Where do old seats that can’t be reused end up? The trash, of course.

It shouldn’t have to be that way. Seats are made from plastic, metal, fabric, and different kinds of synthetic foam, all of which are very recyclable. Some organizations offer seat-recycling drives that accept the whole thing, and you can just drop them off and be on your way.

It’s labor-intensive to tear a seat apart, though, and understandable that it’s rare that a recycling program would accept them. You might have to do the tearing-apart yourself, after checking with your local municipal trash service or private hauler (whoever picks up your recycling) to find out whether they accept seat parts, and whether your particular seat has embedded metal that would keep it out of the recycling bin. Dismantle it, throwing away the fabric and removing as much metal as possible. Then recycle the plastic body. At least it’s something.

If you must get rid of an outmoded seat, you can just put it out at the curb…but be sure to cut off the belts or render it otherwise unusable. Yes, many of our frugal followers will probably shed a tear for this terrible waste.