Help Forum

Help requested posted on 30th April 2012:

Recycling child car seats

I've had someone ask where they can recycle child car seats. My enquirer has a Maxi Cosy and non-isofix base and has replaced it per the manual as it is over 5 years old. I'm not sure what to say for best. Road safety advice would be not to buy/acquire used car seats, although I know people often request them on sites like Freecycle and I've seen them for sale on sites like Gumtree. Any advice?

Khair-un-Nisa Simmonds
London Borough of Greenwich

Reply to this request

Response posted on 1st May 2012 by:
alyson broome
Powys County Council
T: n/a

Child car seats

Hi there.
The advice given to us by the In Car Safety Centre during car seat training was to destroy the seat as much as possible. Cut up the straps, remove the buckles and shred the cover fabric, then chuck it all in a skip. By destroying the component parts it prevents anyone from taking it and using it.
It sounds like your enquirer is a conscientious parent as they have replaced the seat after 5 years (many wouldn't) so I would be surprised if they would feel happy passing it onto another person.

Response posted on 1st May 2012 by:
Kim Hart
Bradford City Council
T: 01274 437409

car seats

I agree with Alyson, if the manual says it is beyond its useful life at five years old, then it is for everybody.
However, you can really open a can of worms with this one, in Bradford we have a high level of very old car seats (much older than 5years) and if it is a used seat or no seat- what do you say.

Response posted on 2nd May 2012 by:
Stuart Howarth
Rochdale Casualty Reduction Team
T: 01706 924605

re-cycling child seats

My colleagues in Wigan have a child seat car loan system and have all their seats refurbished. Maybe thay can help you? I dont know how long it is before the seat is taken out of use all together though.

Response posted on 2nd May 2012 by:
Jonathan Mason
Bristol City Council
T: 0117 922 4338

Child Car Seats

I have always gone by the usual 'avoid second hand seats' policy unless you know the history of the seat. I had a quick look at Maxi Cosi instructions for one seat and it says, basically, dont use after 5 years because of 'ageing of the plastic'. So if you go by that I can't see any kind of refurbishment putting this right. (Five years seems a bit short concidering how long you would use a child seat just for one child). However, they are the manufacturers so you can only go by what they say. I have spoken to other manufacturers about this and not really had a definite answer or had no answer at all. As a Road Safety Officer I wouldn't get involved in recycling or encouraging recycling until I knew more. But as Stuart says if its a question of second hand or no car seat. Gosh! I do go on.

Response posted on 2nd May 2012 by:
John Bullas
T: 07946 317 467

Seat re-use

The approach with crash helmets is not to use second-hand ones since you have no ability to check if they have been exposed to damage - I would say the same should extend to child seats - the reuse of any seat that cannot be proven not to have been damaged (and structurally compromised) by an earlier incident could open up exposure to liability should it fail later owing to this earlier damage.

There is also the issue of degradation of the seat through exposure to UV, abrasives etc etc I guess... a seat left in the back of a vehicle over 5 summers???

And he though HE went on!

Response posted on 3rd May 2012 by:
Barbara Wood
Worcestershire County Council
T: 0121 457 4106

Disposal of Child Seats

Good morning

I have just read you enquiry regarding disposal of Child Seats.

My advise is and has always been, if you no longer need to use the Child Seat as it has been outgrown/is an older type, then it should be disposed of and not passed on for sale etc.

My suggestion is to make sure the seat does not have the harness in it (cut through the harness if necessary)and get a hammer and smash the carcass. The purpose of this action is to ensure that the seat is not picked up from the recycle depot by another person who thinks it is worth using.

If a parent is passing on the seat to a family member, then my advice to the recipient is: would you trust that seat and that person with your childs life?

Child Seats are changing all the time but the prices remain
very good compared to 5 years ago when they were quite expensive.

Happy to talk to you if you need to: 0121 457 4106

Road Safety Officer

Response posted on 3rd May 2012 by:
Michelle Owen
Wigan MBC
T: 01942 488250

Child Car Seats

Wigan Council first started a low cost hire scheme in 1988.

The scheme has continued to be successful and our customer base inculdes grandparents needing a hire seat for visiting children, parents wanting advice on the correct seat for their vehicle before they buy or checking the fit of existing seats and, advising parents/ Occupational Health Therapists on seats for children with special needs.

We undertake regular training with the car seat manufacturers in order that we're qualified to carry on giving free and impartial advice.

We have people visiting our car seat centre from all over the North West as are still the only Council in the North West providing this service.

As part of this service, we liaised Maxi Cosi regarding their instructions to replace seats after five years and their reply was:

"You would not need to replace the seats in accordance with any laws, legislation or regulation. A product which relies on an internal harness to hold the child (not the adult seatbelt) should be replaced after 6 years use in case of any natural wear and tear".

As child car seats evolve year-on-year, Wigan Council took the decision to replace the seats with those that meet the current regulation R44.04.

With regards to 'refurbishing' seats - the most we have done to date is to replace the covers as you can imagine, some of these may become worn.

Although a very long explanation, I hope this has been helpful.

Response posted on 18th March 2018 by:


Recycling child car seats

Im not sure, but to me recycling doesnt mean reusing. We have a besafe seat, it has lots of metal and recyclable plastics, id hate to see it in landfill. Are there recycling options?

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