15 answers

What Do You Do with Older, Expired Car Seats?

I will be having my third child this summer. I have begun going through all the baby stuff that I used with my two older children to refresh my memory (it has been almost 5 years since my last was born) and to make sure everything is safe to use. Our infant car seat/ carrier has an "expiration" date that has come and gone. Does anyone know what my options are to dispose of it? I'm hoping for a more environmentally friendly answer than to just throw it out with the garbage. Thanks

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

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Cut the straps, throw it away! Do not let another baby use it, Its expired and needs to be disposed of. Unfortunatly i do not know of a recycle progrma for them.

More Answers

Legacy Health Systems runs a recycle program several times a year. They recycle every part they can like the plastic and metal, everything but the cover/foam.


EDITED: After reading some of the responses about leaving at a curb or dumpster for "less fortunate" PLEASE DON'T DO THAT. If you wouldn't put your own child in it why would you put other peoples children in danger? If you find that you have to dispose of it with garbage, cut straps, remove covers, and break in at least 2 pieces with hammer so that it cannot be used again.

3 moms found this helpful

I have heard that Garten services will at least take the plastic portion of the carseat to recycle. You have to remove all the metal, and fabric pieces.

I have also heard that Babies R Us has a resource list of the local areas that do carseat recycling. I know that Legacy Health Systems also recently were doing a drive for expired and damaged carseats.

1 mom found this helpful

I was having this same problem-- I have 2 older seats to get rid of. I heard that they have drop off days at Legacy Emmanual hospital in Portland. I looked up the info and found an email address. When I wrote to the guy, he told me that he would take car seats ANYTIME at 21st and Pettygrove (1331 NW 21st avenue)in Portland. The guys name is Tom Badrick, and here is his email if you want to check for yourself: ____@____.com
I haven't actually taken mine yet, but will next time I head to Portland. They also recycle a lot of other stuff. I am taking an old metal bed frame as well.
Kudos to you for not just throwing it in the trash!

1 mom found this helpful

Good question!

Ours are sitting in our basement awaiting the energy to take care of them.

Yours may actually still be good, despite the expiry, if it still conforms to regulations (ie 5 point, LATCH, etc.). You can look up those regulations online.

Most people are unwilling to buy used car seats, even though, heaven knows we all have them & most of us haven't been in an accident or anything that would disqualify them...how does a buyer REALLY know that? Besides, it's one of those 100 dollar investments that makes us feel better.

If yours conforms to regulations, but you're looking at a replacement for any reason I'd check out places that are desperate for funding, in short supply, do humanitarian work or a combo of all 3; ie...

- Battered womens shelters
- Group homes for pregnant teens
- Church/Temple/Tribal organizations
- Alcohol/Drug treatment facilities
- Community College Daycare Centers (Most do "swap" meets/ free stuff giveaways once or twice a year)
- etc

Obviously, you'd need to make sure the seat was super super clean. Also, many of these organizations go back and forth as to whether they'll accept used car seats. I have a friend at CPS, for example, that was pulling out her hair a few years ago...because social workers were doing removals & placements WITH NO CAR SEAT, because there was no money for new ones (and yet the regulations said the social worker couldn't even accept the child's own car seat IF IT WAS OFFERED)!! After about a year of this they changed the policy to accept donations, but it may well have gone back again at this point. In any event, there are a lot of places & people in hard circumstances that only care that they are being given an option to keep their little one safe.

If yours is NOT donatable it's mostly recyclable. Just cut the straps and take the whole thing apart. The fabric cover can go in the "clothing donations" boxes (they get shredded for the materials mostly). The plastic parts should be stamped with a triangle & number. If you can't put it out with your recycling on the curb there are locations that accept drop offs of the "hard" numbers. OR of course...any of the "we take away junk" companies. They break everything down to their components & sell the parts. Don't pay for this service if you don't have to. Since they make money off of the stuff they cart away most don't charge. Some do.

You can see why ours our sitting in our basement for the time being. <sheepish grin> None of this is hard. It's just "one more thing". Good for you for taking care & wanting to take care of it!

1 mom found this helpful

If you are a AAA member call them, they may even offer you a discount on a new one. You car insurance company may also be able to help you. I know that when my kids were small that insurance companies offered a lot of info on car seats, how to use them, and how to purchase them. They also offered discounts on the purchase of an approved car seat that would work with your car. Car dealers may also be able to help you.
I know they would prefer that the old and maybe damaged carseats were no longer used. You never know what people would take from the garbage or dump and use.

So,if the car seat expires, do not use it anymore. And please do not take it to a family that may not be able to "afford" a car seat. Why put a child in danger? There is a reason for expiration dates on food, medications, car seats, etc - Don't use them! The plastic on car seats can only withstand the heat from sun and also the extreme cold for a certain amount of time. Legacy is a great place to recycle car seats. Oh, yeah, the old car seats also make great beds for the family pet down in the basement or on a sunny porch!

A few times a year, the portland area has plastic recycling "round up". You could call metro to find out when the next one is. Also, I have heard Emmanuel hospital periodically collects car seats for recycling. I do know one woman personally who is a master recycler and knows more details... I can ask her if it's okay for you to contact her if you'd like to respond to me. Good luck, and thanks for keeping your kids safe...and recycling!!!

In our area we have car seat safety checks done at our local GM dealership. They will take the old car seats and use them for demonstration/education purposes. This is how we have disposed of our old car seat. I hope that this helps.

i'm interested in this also. looking to hear your responses.

i put mine out on the curb on the day before trash day w/ cans....it disappeared. I figure some poor family that could not afford a car seat at all snagged it. I work in a very low income school district and see families all the time that don't have car seats b/c i imagine they can't afford it. I figure it's better to have a car seat with plastic that is a little old than have baby in arms like i so often see.

I have recently talked to our waste management on a similar question. We had two car seats and a stroller that were damaged in a car accident. My husband said he wanted to take them home and strip them to recycle them...turns out you can't do that. Thanks hubby!! Anyway all you can do is throw it in the trash!

Please I hope you do take the steps to get rid of it...I cannot stress how important safe/ non expired car seats are. I don't know what would have happened to our daughter in the accident we just had if she hadn't been in a safely installed car seat in new/great condition. To me $100-300 is worth the money if it means saving a child's life! That being said I could donate a car seat that was expired to put another child at risk.

As far as getting the much needed new seat... I would google Car seat ratings and go to the NHTSA site for their review on safety. We went with one of the top rated Alpha Omega Elite seats for our kids and we were involved in a 40 mph accident that I was injured in but my daughter had no injuries. It is worth researching. Both of our kids are now in the highly rated Safety 1st summit. Hard to find but is a great seat!

That is a good question. When you find out will you let me know i have a seat I need to get rid of also.

Cut the straps, throw it away! Do not let another baby use it, Its expired and needs to be disposed of. Unfortunatly i do not know of a recycle progrma for them.

I know this is a tough one! One friend of mine told me she will go to a neighborhood that is low income and leave it by a dumpster along with other baby stuff. She sees it picked up before she gets back in the car. She figures that it may be "expired" but it probably gets a child in a car seat that may not have otherwise had one, and keeps it out of the landfill...

Toss it and get the best one on the market. Babies are very precious and car seats do prevent injury and loss of life for them.

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