Free trial to recycle child car seats

Used child car seats lined up

A child car seat recycling trial starting in Melbourne in July will help save families from potentially risky ‘hand-me-down’ car seats while helping protect the environment.

Many families pass on car seats their children have grown out of to other families, but a used car seat can be dangerous if it is worn out, or less safe than newer models that meet updated standards.

“If not checked properly, putting a child in a second-hand car seat can pose a great risk to the child’s safety,” says Rebekah Smith, RACV manager road user behaviour.

“This new program offers a responsible solution to dispose of potentially unsafe child car seats.”

It is estimated that more than 200,000 child car seats are disposed of every year. Most of them are sent to landfill, despite at least 90 per cent of the materials being recyclable.

The RACV-supported trial aims to save more than 900 tonnes of waste going to landfill by collecting and disassembling the seats on site. It is co-ordinated by sustainability strategies and management company Equilibrium.

“RACV encourages families to recycle their old and unsafe car seats to ensure our children travel safely on our roads and our environment is protected,” says Rebekah.

Families can dispose of disused child car seats for free during a two-month trial of the program from July 1 to August 30, at Darebin Resource Recovery Centre, 30 Kurnai Avenue, Reservoir.

The following types of child car seats will be acceptable for disposal at the collection site:

  • Rear facing seats and capsules
  • Forward facing seats
  • Booster seats

Families can dispose of disused child car seats for free during a two-month trial of the program from July 1 to August 30, at Darebin Resource Recovery Centre, 30 Kurnai Avenue, Reservoir.

The trials are also taking place interstate. Locations include:

New  South Wales

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

Queensland

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

Tips when buying a second-hand child restraint

1. Only buy a restraint that meets the Australian Standard
A sticker will show that it meets the AS/NZS 1754 standard. It is illegal to use overseas models or restraints meeting the 2000 or older standards.

2. Don’t use a restraint that’s more than 10 years old
A separate sticker should show the year of manufacture. Consider how long your child will need the restraint. Newer restraints are likely to be safer.

3. Check that all parts are in good condition
There should be no signs of wear and tear, and the buckle should click in to place securely.

4. Know the history
Damage might not be obvious, so it’s important to check if the restraint has been in a crash. A restraint that’s been in a crash must be destroyed and should not be for sale.

5. Check the safety rating
Compare the safety of seats at childcarseats.com.au

6. Check the restraint is suitable for your needs
Is the restraint the right size? Will it fit in your car?

7. Ask for the instruction manual
The manual will have instructions on fitting the restraint correctly. Some manuals can be downloaded online from manufacturers.

Written by RACV
July 01, 2017