Recycling children’s car seats

by Anonymous Author

Selwyn District Council is partnering with SeatSmart to offer a recycling programme for expired or damaged car seats.

Selwyn parents can take their unwanted car seats to the Pines Resource Recovery Park in Burnham School Road, and until June the council is subsidising the processing cost.

Council’s solid waste manager Andrew Boyd said council is pleased to be able to partner with SeatSmart to help reduce the amount of car seats going to landfill by recycling them.

“To help make the programme a success we are asking residents to remove and dispose of the fabric seat covers prior to bringing them in,” Mr Boyd said.

The seats are dismantled through Department of Corrections community work programmes, which provide opportunities for offenders to learn new skills and contribute to the community.

The recovered plastic is recycled into products for the building industry, metal parts are taken to metal recyclers, and the harnesses will be used by Karkt NZ and The Green Collective who make handmade bags from recycled items.

Selwyn School Road Safety Coordinator Stephanie Hautler said all car seats have an expiry date on them, and through time seats can be damaged from UV light, heat, general wear and tear or in a crash.

“SeatSmart can help reduce the amount of recyclable materials going to landfill and remove expired seats from circulation, which improves road safety,” Ms Hautler said.

“The SeatSmart recycling programme is a great way for caregivers to dispose of unsafe car seats and know that the seat will be recycled, rather than being used after they have expired or have become unfit for use.”

Ms Hautler said booster and convertible seats can be recycled through the recycling programme, along with capsules, but polystyrene seats are not part of the programme.

Parents can find information about how to check their seat’s expiry date at and for information on the SeatSmart programme email

Nationally, more than 40,000 car seats expire every year in New Zealand. If these seats were placed together they would stretch from Darfield to West Melton or Leeston to Lincoln.