If it’s time to get a new car seat for your child, but you can’t afford the cost of a new one, don’t worry — there are plenty of ways to recycle those used seats. This article will examine some of the most responsible ways to reuse or recycle a used children’s car seat and tell you what to do with your old seat.
Six responsible ways to reuse or recycle a used children’s car seat
1. Trade-in Events
Bring your used car seat to a local car seat trade-in event. You can also find car seat recycling events in many areas, where you can trade in your seats for gift cards or gift certificates to buy newer ones. Some organizations will either offer a small monetary or in-kind donation if you bring in your used car seat or are willing to take it off your hands and dispose of it for you.
2. Local Recycling Centers
Some states have created recycling centers that accept child safety seats, and other countries even have specially designed vehicles designed only for the collection of these seats. Look for them in your area.
3. Used Car Seat Buyback Programs
Many states have programs that will buy back used car seats from you, so you can safely donate them to parents who may not be able to afford a new one.
For example, let’s say your state has a car seat buyback program. You bring in your old child safety seat, and the state will give you a voucher, which you can use to buy a newer one. The used seat will be safely donated to another family in need.
4. Donate to a Charity
Your local donation center may find someone who needs your old car seat. Call around or ask your social network if they know of any good organizations that accept used car seats for donation.
5. Sell for Cash
Many people sell their used car seats online or through secondhand stores, depending on how safe the seats were during use and how likely they can be safely reused or recycled.
In many areas, thrift stores, secondhand stores, consignment shops, and resale shops are dedicated to selling furniture and other household items — check out whether any accept car seats on their websites before you go. Once you’ve found a place that takes them, bring in your used car seat, and they should be able to give it a new home.
6. Proper trash protocol
If none of these options on how to reuse or recycle a used children’s car seat work for you, and you don’t feel confident that the seats are in good enough shape to sell, donate or reuse, then at least make sure they get taken to an appropriate safe disposal center. Don’t just throw them away with your regular garbage — the chemicals inside the seats can be toxic if improperly disposed of.
Don’t let a used car seat be a waste of money. Instead, please find a way to reuse, recycle or donate it for someone else’s benefit. There are plenty of options and choices for how to do it.