The carseat recycling trial keeping kids safe

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 Photo: Shutterstock

While it's one thing to pass on baby clothes and prams to expectant parents once your little ones have outgrown them, car seats are another story entirely. 

According to KidSafe, secondhand restraints should be used with caution.

"You should be aware of the history of the restraint and be sure that the restraint has all the appropriate fittings," the organisation advises, adding that any seats more than 10 years old should not be used.

That's just one reason why a trial child seat recycling scheme, currently running in three states, is such an excellent idea - helping to ensure old restraints aren't reused past the ten year mark, while also helping to reducing landfill. 

As part of the scheme, which is running until August 30, parents can dispose of:

  • Rear facing infant carriers and bases
  • Forward facing seats
  • Booster seats

"I have a two year old son. I thought over his life we're going to have a lot of these seats going in and out of our cars. Looking at the safety aspect of actually buying a a second-hand one, I didn't want to entertain that," Damian Wrigley, General Manager of Equilibrium - the sustainability firm behind the scheme - told the NRMA.

"So it's more about trying to establish, can you recycle these materials, is there an opportunity to recycle these materials ... And that's what we've started with this trial."

There are around 200,000 car safety seats that reach "end of life" each year, Wrigley said, meaning that they're reaching about ten years of age. That amounts to 900 tonnes of waste from landfill a year.

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This is despite the fact that around around 90 per cent of the seats are made of recyclable material.

Drop off points can be found in New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria. Seats are collected and disassembled

New South Wales

  • Tamworth Community Recycling Centre, Forest Road,Tamworth, NSW, 2340
  • Kiama Community Recycling Centre, 446 Riverside Dr, Minnamurra NSW 2533
  • Penrith Community Recycling Centre, 42 Charles Street (access off Dunheved Circuit), St Marys NSW 2760

Queensland

  • Nudgee Resource Recovery Centre, 1402 Nudgee Rd, Nudgee Beach, QLD, 4014
  • Willawong Resource Recovery Centre, 360 Sherbrooke Rd, Willawong, QLD, 4110
  • Reedy Creek Community Waste and Recycling Centre, 61 Hutchinson Street, Burleigh Heads, QLD 4220

Victoria

  • Darebin Resource Recovery Centre, 30 Kurnai Avenue, Reservoir VIC 3073

Look out for these signs:

Image/Equilibrium

"Disposing of a child car safety seat once it reaches its fixed life span or after it has been involved in a crash, can give parents peace of mind that their child will be protect," Equilibrium's website reads.

"Removing worn or damaged child car safety seats from being reused not only better protects children and infants, but provides an opportunity to responsibility divert seats into an efficient resource recovery and recycling program."

For more information on child car seat safety, visit KidSafe.