What To Do with Your Old Car Seats

What To Do with Your Old Car Seats

Your little one’s car seat has been a staple of the backseat ever since their first trip home from the hospital. From spills and meltdowns to road trips and adventures, your kid’s car seat has been through it all. But now your little one isn’t so little, and it’s time to retire their car seat. But what do you do with an old car seat? Lucky for you, there are a few different options when it comes to recycling a car seat.  

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 it’s going to expire before they’ll have a chance to use it, it’s best to just get rid of it properly and purchase a new seat.  

Find a car seat trade-in program.

Select retailers run trade-in programs throughout the year, like the Target Car Seat Trade In. Bring in your old seat, and in exchange, you’ll receive a coupon to purchase a replacement car seat. The old, donated car seats are recycled and used to create new items from the recycled plastic. 

Recycle the car seat yourself.

Check with your local recycling plant to see if they accept plastic from car seats. If they do, check their requirements for accepting an old car seat – the level of work you’ll have to do before dropping it off may vary. 

  • Remove the cover and soft goods 
  • Remove the harness and buckles 
  • Remove all metal pieces 

Dispose of the car seat in the trash.

If there isn’t a recycling plant near you that will take your old car seat, then you might need to throw it in the trash. Just like with recycling, there are guidelines for properly disposing of a car seat in the garbage: 

  • Remove all padding and foam 
  • Cut all the straps 
  • Remove the metal pieces 
  • Mark the seat as “UNSAFE” or “DO NOT USE” 

Once you’ve figured out how to dispose of your old car seat, the next step is finding a new one.  Our tips for buying the perfect car seat will help you figure out what to look for in your next car seat.  

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