Saving Kids, Saving Earth
How can we better accomplish both saving kids and the Earth at the same time? Recycle car seats.
Why is it important to figure out recycling for our car seats anyway?
Well first of all, car seats do expire. Because of being exposed to extreme conditions like, heat and sun and freezing cold, they plastic car seats are made of starts to degrade after 5 to 6 years. (Check your car seat for an expiration date.)
And secondly, car seats shouldn’t be reused after they are involved in a crash because the stress the car seat is built to take on (on behalf of your child) weakens the safety structure of the seat. So that equals a lot of car seats no longer being used every year. If they all go to the landfill, that equals big mountains of hard plastic and metal parts waiting years upon years to deteriorate.
According to Angelica M. Baker, Phoenix Children’s Hospital Child Safety Passenger Specialist, “Garage sales and trash cans are not the answer to unwanted, old car seats – de-manufacturing and recycling is,” Baker explains. “This is the proper way to dispose of car seats. It’s important not to throw car seats in the dump. We have seen many cases where people will pull old car seats out of dumpsters or trash cans and use them.”
Here is a brief article posted on Safe Kids by May Romo of Safe Kids Salt Lake County explaining her take on the issue. It succinctly describes how we at Safe Ride 4 Kids feel so we’re sharing it in full. Read on…
We like her philosophy so we looked up programs in our local communities.
Find your Your local safety seat programs
In the Denver metro area, EDS Waste will recycle car seats.
In Boulder, Colo. there are two places to recycle car seats. Eco-Cycle accepts car seats with a #2 on the bottom. They do charge a labor fee of $5 for taking apart all the components.
In Phoenix, Ariz., Phoenix Children’s Hospital hosts an annual Earth Day car seat collection where they take in and dismantle hundreds of seats every year.
Since the old model RideSafer Travel Vest doesn’t have an expiration date and the new model has an expiration date of 7-10 years, they can withstand a lot of use in their lives. Thus we have a trade-up program for people who have a small vest and need to upgrade to a large. We donate these uncrashed, traded-in vests to programs that take child restraints to low income families who would otherwise not afford them. We will be happy to take donated large vests to these programs or help you find a program in your community. We also can return used/old vests to the manufacturer for recycling.
Dismantling car seats does require a little work, but it’s worthwhile. Not only will you help keep unsafe seats from being used, but you’ll prevent reusable materials like plastic and metal from being thrown in the landfill. You can search online to learn about programs in your local areas.
Have you looked for a recycling program in your area? If you know of other programs, please share in the comments below.
By Amie Durocher, Creative Director at Safe Ride 4 Kids and certified CPS Tech since 2004
Copyright 2014 Safe Ride 4 Kids. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.