There are several deciding factors of how to dispose of expired car seats. For example, the seats’ condition is a top consideration you can’t afford to ignore. Also, if your child’s weight or height increases, it is only necessary to replace the seat.
A worn-out or expired car seat is unsafe to use or place your child. The best part is that a car seat expiration date gives you an idea of how long it will last.
To know if the seat’s lifespan is overdue, flip it and check the printed expiry date at the bottom. Some manufacturers may place the date on a sticker or inside the instruction manual. This article will teach you how to dispose of expired car seats.
How to Dispose of Expired Car Seats
Trade-in programs for expired or old seats
Sometimes, car seats degrade, making them unattractive and dangerous for your use. This doesn’t mean they are worthless. If the seat has been in a minor accident and you wish to replace it, consider giving it out to a trade-in program.
Ensure the seat is clean before taking it for a trade-in. Inspect the fabric condition and chances of broken pieces. This will help you fetch a decent trade-in deal in most programs.
Target annual trade-in program is an excellent place for your expired seats. The event allows you to give out your old seats, infant seats, booster seats, and convertible seats for coupons. You will earn a 20% discount on a new seat or caring baby gear. The traded seats are turned into other products such as construction materials or buckets.
Walmart is another trade-in program where you can get a $30 e-gift card. The brand works in association with TerraCycle and will allow you to send your expired seat for free through FedEx.
Donate old seats to charity
It is often hard to find a place where you can donate expired seats. Some organizations can be picky even if the condition of the seats is still excellent. The good news is some facilities accept seat donations, provided you are honest about the seats’ condition upfront. This helps the organizations know what to expect without compromising the safety of the next user.
You can donate old seats in:
- Local charity shelters: These are facilities that help needy families. They often have a shortage of resources and necessities like car seats.
- Local CPSTs: Child passenger safety technicians teach car owners the ropes for installing car seats and keeping safe while driving. You can reach out to them and donate the expired seats.
- Church organizations: Some church organizations have ministries that often need support. Donating your seats is an ideal option, especially if you are religious.
Note: Don’t donate overly old seats. Instead, recycle them if possible.
Proper recycling protocol for expired seats
You can opt to recycle the expired seat if you lack a place to donate. More so, you can recycle them on your own or/with the help of your local recycling center.
If your seats are recyclable, reach out to the recycle center to determine if they accept expired ones. Request and read its recycling guidelines to the letter. Some centers will require delivering the seats naked or broken down.
Either way, you will need to remove or cut the seats’ harnesses, padding, or fabric. Afterward, order a recycling kit or box to enable you to deliver the seats to the recycling plant.
Proper reuse of old seats
Sometimes, a seat won’t hold your grown child despite being in perfect shape. This means you can pass it on to another family member or save it for a younger sibling. Whatever the case, ensure:
- The expiry date isn’t overdue: An expiration date deems a seat dangerous. The harnesses or plastic render the seat brittle and less effective to pass on or keep for a younger sibling.
- The seat hasn’t been recalled: A recalled seat means it has defects that could be unsafe. Therefore, companies recall them for replacements or repairs. Ensure the seat has the model label to help the next user check in case of future recalls.
- The seat hasn’t been in a significant accident: Severe crashes dwindle the integrity and structure of a seat, making it lose the ability to deploy airbags to protect the next user if an accident occurs.
- Pass the seat along with its manual: Ensure you share a copy of the seat’s manual to help the next user with the correct instructions to install it. See if you can download the manual copy from the manufacturer’s website.
Proper trash protocol for expired seats
If trading-in, donating, and recycling fails, trashing expired seats is the last option. But again, ensure you follow your local trash guidelines before disposing of the seats. One of the top requirements is you label the seats as expired or unsafe. This ensures nobody will think of using them after throwing them out as garbage.
Frequently Asked Questions on Car Seats
How long does a car seat last?
A plastic car seat can last between six and ten years, depending on the manufacturer’s expiry date. It is only wise to confirm the date on the manual or the seat’s sticker to know when you need a replacement.
What should I do to recycle expired car seats properly?
Each state recycles expired seats differently, making it crucial to contact your responsible state department. In most recycling programs, you need to unstrap the seats’ fabric and padding. Cut the harnesses and remove any metal part with a screwdriver. Both the plastic parts and metal will be recyclable.
Do car seats manufacturers offer recycling programs?
Some car seat manufacturers allow car owners to submit expired seats for recycling. The best approach to find out if your manufacturer does it is to call their offices.
Now that you know how to dispose of expired car seats, it is worthwhile to register them. Achieving this will keep you or the next user informed of the manufacturer’s recall requests and the expiry dates of the seats. More so, ensure you find the safest, most workable, and most convenient way to get rid of expired seats to avoid unnecessary costs.