If you have unused or expired car seats, you don’t have to throw them away! Across the US, recycling programs for car seats are in their infancy. In the Pacific Northwest, Seattle and Portland have led the way with drop-off recycling programs.
You can donate gently used car seats at any Seattle Goodwill location if the car seats are not expired or have not been recalled by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
Seattle-based retail store Goods for the Planet is now accepting car seats for recycling. Child car seats can be dropped-off during the store’s operating hours. Note that all fabric and fabric straps will need to be removed before dropping off, and an $8 fee is charged for this recycling service.
Goods for the Planet
525 Dexter Ave, Seattle WA 98109
HOURS: Monday through Sunday |10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
You can also mail in your car seat for recycling. For the cost of shipping, BabyEarth’s RENEW’s recycling program will disassemble used baby equipment and distribute all of the recyclable parts and pieces to recycling centers.
To participate in this program, simply prepare your item for shipping and mail to:
RENEW Recycling Program
21 Cypress Blvd Ste. 1120, Round Rock, TX 78665
BabyEarth accepts all of these items for recycling:
Washington State law mandates that children under the age of eight are required to ride in a car seat or booster seat. As children grow, different types of seats are required to meet safety standards. This means that for every child, parents will need to purchase and eventually dispose of 3-4 types of car seats in their child’s lifetime.
If you do want to use or purchase a used car seat, make sure you can verify the age and crash history of the seat, whether or not it has expired, and confirm that none of the original parts are missing.
If you have a child’s car seat, use it for as long as you can. When the car seat is ready to retire, you can help reduce waste by taking advantage of car seat recycling programs.
Seattle Public Utilities – Ask Evelyn “Child Car Seats”
Goods for the Planet Car Seat Recycling Program
BabyEarth RENEW Car Seat Recycling Program
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration – Child Seat Guidelines
Washington State Booster Seat Coalition
Consumer Product Safety Commission
Earth911.com – “Road Blocks to Car Seat Recycling”
Consumer Reports – “What to do with a used car seat”