What to do with Expired Car Seats

What to Do with Expired Car Seats: Dispose and Recycle Techniques

Are you thinking about what to do with expired car seats? The first thing we should notice for the existing car seat is if you hit the maximum height and weight, it is time for a new one. The seat which is too small for you, cannot protect you in the time of a crash. But that is not the only reason why you deflect your old car seat at some point or another. You may want a new modern seat for yourself, or maybe you want an upgraded one. Or maybe your old car seat is damaged or expired or has been in a crash, so now you have to replace it with a new one. Or perhaps you simply don’t like your old car seat anymore and you want a new one.

A car seat is one of the most important things that you have for yourself or your babies in your car. So, if your old car seat doesn’t work for you or suits your car anymore or doesn’t go with your lifestyle anymore, trying something different could make your car trips a little easier, comfortable and fun.

Whatever the reason is, when the day comes to change your model, you’ll have to decide what to do with your child’s old car seat.

Why Does the Car Seat Expire?

Most of the time we hear that “car seats don’t expire”. But the truth is, it is just a trick to sell more by the manufacturers and get you to spend more money on it. It doesn’t matter how many times we hear it, it is still not true. Car seats does expire. And your safety can depend on the fact of recognizing this. Every time when we sit into the car, we trust the car seat to keep our little ones safe in a crash. The car seat also trusts us in return that we will know when and why we should replace the car seat.

Why Does the Car Seat Expire

Yes, we know that car seats do expire typically in six to ten years from the date of manufacture. The sticker of car seats provides the serial number, manufacture and expiration dates. But definitely the seat is not going to disband on the exact date of expiration. Rather, we should plan on replacing the seat around the expiration date. Mainly there are few reasons why car seats expire. The car seat manufacturers want to make you uneasy and inconvenience you is a reason they make the car seat like this.

The Reason Why Child Car Seats Expire

Why Child Car Seats Expire

One of the most important things that you use for your child is a car seat. Also, you will adjust your car seat while your child is growing day by day. You will clean it up messes. The traps get cringe as the babies chew it. The car seat gets bake if the temperature is too high in the area that you live in or if you park the car in the sun the car seat gets a tiny crack in the plastic that you cannot even notice. These are some main reasons that child’s car seats expire.

What to do with Expired Car Seats: How to Dispose and Recycle

So, what to do with expired car seats? Whenever you get to know that your old car seat has either expired or has shown enough signs of damage, it means that now you need to get rid of your old car seat. Normally the maximum expiry date of a car seat is from six years to ten years. Maintaining this time limit is good for yourself. It is better to recycle or dispose of it after this time limit.

How to Dispose and Recycle Car Seats

So guys, here you can see some options that you can consider when to say goodbye to your old or expired car seat:

Car Seat Trade-In Event and Program

Trade-in events are one of the most efficient ways to properly get rid an old or expired car seats. There you can bring your old and unused car seats to exchange for a free event pass or gift cards and vouchers for next in-store purchase. These discount vouchers can apply to when you want new strollers and other baby gear.

Trade-in events offer you to bring in an old car seat and get a coupon in return. Target offers twenty percent off a fresh seat, baby stroller, or other piece of baby item, when you trade in. They launched this program in 2016 and has gained major popularity since then.

Donation Drives

There is another interesting thing that you can do. You know what? You can donate your old and used car seat to different organizations. There are so many organizations or groups which can take your old car seats like- women’s shelters, local charities, church organizations and more.

However, it is very much important to make sure about the safety of your old car seats before donating to others. You cannot compromise anyone’s safety.

Proper Recycling of Old Car Seat

Why we always should throw our old car seat in the trash. We can recycle it, right? Yes. We can go to our nearest recycling center and ask them if they allow old car seats and plastic materials from the gear for recycling or repurposing.

However, before giving your old car seat to the recycle center for recycling, you must make sure that you have removed all the metal pieces and accessories from the gear.

Expired Car Seats Proper Disposal

Is it the only option to dispose of your old car seat? Okay. Then, you must follow some guidelines here. Before tossing your old car seat out to the trash, you need to remove everything that is harmful for others like- you must remove extra padding and foam from the seat, need to cut away any straps and remove all the metal pieces from the seat. Lastly, you need to mark the entire gear as unsafe or expired to discourage anyone from reusing it and ham themselves.

Why Car Seats Can’t Be Used Forever

Why Car Seats Can’t Be Used Forever

There are no rules or regulations from the government of the United States for car seat expiration dates. Rather the manufacturers fix it according to a guideline based on the materials they use in it. It is not only about selling more of their products but there are several safety reasons manufacturers fix a date of expiration on car seats.

Car Seats Improved Technology

The car seat designs are improved from time to time by the manufacturers to improve the performance of their product. An old car seat that is already used by friends or families might look like in great condition, but it doesn’t have the latest lifesaving technologies. Also, the old car seat doesn’t have the original parts of it. If you feel that any part of the car seat is missing then do not use it until it has been replaced with a new one.

Wearing Down of Materials

Nothing is made for lasting forever, such as the car seats. As we all know that everything has a time limit. Just like that car seat also has a time limit. The car seat degrades over time as the material begins to wear out.

You know what, after years of being used in the car. The car seat goes under the temperature (extreme hot or cold weather) the plastic in the car seat can become delicate. However, the breakdown may not be visible to the naked eye, so the expiration date is important.

What Should You Do with Old or Expired Car Seats?

You know what? To dispose of an expired or an old car seat at first you have to remove the cover and harness of the seat and bring the seat in naked. That makes the process easier for them to dispose of the expired car seat. It is an easier way to separate out the metal from the plastic.

If there is no way to recycle the old car seat then you can break it down for the trash. Keep it in mind that people may take it if they see something they can either sell or use for themselves.

How to Recycle/Dispose Used Car Seats: With Just 5 Easy Steps

You want to know about recycling or disposing of old car seats? That is really good. Properly disposing of car seats is a tricky but important subject to be familiar with, because safety is the top priority here.

recycling or disposing of old car seats

Car seats are very tricky things. Do you have the right one? Is it installed properly? Are you using it correctly? Are you using the right things with the car seat?

Then, whenever it expires or your child outgrows it, you have another issue to deal with.

Expired Car Seats: What Do You Do with It?

Once your car seats get old and damaged, it can not be sold, donated, consigned or reused. So, here are some safe ways to dispose of an old car seat.

  1. Wait for a trade-in event. Many baby stores sponsor them once or twice a year. They will take outgrown or expired seats and trade them in for a substantial coupon off a new seat. The store will handle the disposal.
  2. If you can’t find one, or don’t want to wait for one, start by cutting the straps.
  3. Take off the cover and dispose of it separately.
  4. Destroy the seat by taking a saw to it and recycle the plastic pieces
  5. Spray the seat and write, in permanent marker and in large letters “UNSAFE”, “DAMAGED”, “EXPIRED”.

If you or someone you know needs a car seat and cannot afford to purchase one, contact your local police department and let them know. If they don’t have one they can give you, they will point you in the right direction for a free or low-cost seat that is confirmed safe.

Car Seat Recycling and Donation in US

Car seats are the most effective way to save lives. They reduce the risk of death by 71% for infants and by 54% for toddlers ages 1 to 4.

Type of Car Seat to Recycle

Types of car seats are as follows:

  • Recycle an infant car seat,
  • Recycle a harness child car seat,
  • Recycle a highbacked booster car seat,
  • Recycle a backless booster car seat,
  • Recycle an infant car seat base.

Local Car Seat Recycling Programs

Some big stores usually hold car seat trade-in events all year round. The only store that does this is Target, and there are other stores that do this too like- Walmart.

Waste Management Car Seat Recycling

Every year many old car seats get expired. Either we recycle them or we dispose of them. Car seats have expiry dates mostly for six to ten years. After that those seats go for disposal or recycling.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q1. How to Recycle Old/Used Car Seats?

A) You can wait for a trade-in event. you need to cut the straps, need to take off the cover, destroy the seat by taking a saw to it, or you can write clearly that this is unsafe, damaged and expired.

Q2. Where to Donate Car Seats and Strollers?

A) There are so many organizations or groups which can take your old car seats like- women’s shelter and local charities to church organizations and child passenger safety technicians, and so on. However, it is very much important to make sure about the safety of your old car seats before donating to others. You cannot compromise anyone’s safety.

Q3. Can I Donate My Old Baby Car Seat?

A) Surely you can donate your old car seat if it still maintains all the safety manners. Otherwise you definitely cannot donate it.

Q4. Does Anyone Take Expired Car Seats?

A) Yes, people take expired car seats for their child as some people cannot afford a new one for their child.

Q5. How Can I Find Car Seat Disposal Near Me?

A) You can search on google/bing/yahoo/duckduckgo for the nearest car seat disposal center or you can take someone’s help.

Q6. What to Do with An Old Baby Car Seat?

A) You can destroy it if it is harmful for others. Or if it is still usable then you can donate it to others.

Q7. Can I Throw Away A Car Seat?

A) You can definitely throw away an old car seat. You can not use any car seat for your child which is inappropriate for your child. You must check everything properly before using the car seat for your child.

Q8. When You Can Not Reuse or Resell a Car Seat?

A) When the old car seat is totally damaged or any part of it is now harmful for the child, you can not reuse or resell that car seat. The fabric, belt metal parts, everything should be proper in condition if you want to reuse or resell the old car seat, otherwise you can not reuse or resell that.

Last Words

Is important to avoid compromising the safety of yourself and your family also. It’s should take extra care when using a secondhand car seat. Give the car seat a thorough look over to make sure there’s no damage before choosing to use it. You should also be sure to register the car seat, so you can be informed of any recalls. That is why it is important to know what to do with expired car seats with just some techniques of disposal and recycling. Happy reading!

About The Author

Michael H. Smith

Michael H. Smith

Michael is the lead content creator for Wheelspick.com. As a car enthusiast and based on his real life experiences he is sharing his opinion about various automotive vehicles and parts. So that our reader, can focus solely on buying best gadgets for their automobile and get the best products reviews and guide experience!

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