I have a friend who is expecting her first child next month. Since she and her husband are not finding out the sex of the baby, they tried to get gender neutral baby gear. However, their second-hand infant car seat is bright pink, so I offered her our old gender-neutral car seat cover as a second option.
When I took our old car seat out of storage, I remembered another friend telling me that car seats have expiration dates. Apparently the plastic can degrade over time and the seat may not meet the most current government safety standards. That got me thinking about our infant car seat. If we end up not needing it again before the expiration date is up, is it recyclable? Thankfully the short answer is yes, but it's not always easy.
The good news is car seats are 90% recyclable. The bad news is many recycling facilities are not equipped to handle car seats. A big part of the problem is the time-consuming work of disassembling each seat. Despite the difficulty, more and more communities are setting up car seat recycling drives. I live in a city that established a car seat recycling program in 2007. Now cities from Morristown, New Jersey to Park City, Utah have started car seat programs. If you can't find a recycling program near you, you can call your recycling company to find out if it's possible to organize a car seat recycling drive. Sounds daunting, but if you can rally friends to pitch in, it could be an amazing opportunity for your community.