Retiring/Recycling Car Seats

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Q: We're moving up a stage in car seats and while we were able to share one with a relative who wanted it and could use it, we don't have a home for the other. I completely understand that many charitable organizations don't accept car seats for liability reasons, and appreciate that many parents would prefer to buy new seats, but it's still a huge plastic-y thing to just park with your curbside trash. Do you have suggestions for readers as to how we can recycle our car seats? (continued below)

Sent by Susannah

I've been researching this and have found companies in a seemingly very limited number of communities offer car seat recycling programs (sometimes coinciding with installation inspection), but haven't found any in my state (CT). The most viable recycling option I've found is *mailing* the seat to a company in Texas that offers to recycle it - hence my note to you! What do readers do with their old car seats? Recycle? (How?) Curbside trash? Any manufacturer programs to take back old seats? Any other inventive repurposing?

I'm primarily interested in cases where users aren't passing on or reselling their old seats -- cases you'd really need to recycle it, such as the seat is expired and no longer usable; the seat has been in an accident and hence not usable; or you just can't find anyone to take it/use it (even if still usable/unexpired).

Editor: Susannah, we're so glad you asked this question. This is not something we've discussed on Ohdeedoh before and we don't know the answer. Readers - what has happened to your family's car seats when you're done with them? What options are there besides the landfill?

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As Apartment Therapy's Family Editor, Carrie covers design and modern homelife with children. A lapsed librarian, she lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two kids and is in contention to break the record for most hours spent at the playground.

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