I have been seeing this question a lot lately.
"My car seat is expired, what do I do with it?"
"My car seat is missing parts, where do I take it?"
"My car seat was in an accident and ICBC is replacing my seat - what should I do with the crashed one?"
"Why can't I just put it in the recycling?"
In general, the easy answer is take it to the garbage dump, sadly. Where we live, we do not have many close recycling locations, which is really too bad. A lot of the times, as a tech, I find car seats at the dump sitting in the 'reuse' shed and I panic! What if someone thinks these are safe to use and they make their way back onto the streets and into cars? Ack! If you live in the Greater Vancouver area, there are a few other options. Or in another Province. More about those locations later in the post.
1) "My car seat is expired, what do I do with it?"
- Take the seat apart, as best you can. If you have the same seat in a new and non expired version you can save the fabric from the cover if it is not damaged.
- Write EXPIRED on the front & back in a sharpie
- Cut all the straps
- Take it to your local garbage dump, and dispose of it in a garbage bin (not the recycle or reuse shed)
The goal is to make it 100% unusable, should someone come across it
2) "My car seat is missing parts, where do I take it?"
- Is it expired? If so, follow the steps in 1
- Not expired - did you contact the company who manufacturers your seat to see if the parts are replaceable? If they are, discontinue use of seat until they arrive. If they aren't, follow step 1.
3) "I was in an accident and ICBC is replacing my seat - what should I do with the crashed one?"
- Almost always ICBC will require proof & photos of destroyed seat to receive your reimbursement for a new one, should you have been approved. If they do not, follow above and destroy/dispose of it yourself. ICBC does no longer take your crashed seats nor your broken or expired ones (at most locations). To find out more, head here
4) "Why can't I just put it in the recycling?"
- Metal and plastic and likely internal Styrofoam cannot go in one individual recycle bin so it would go to the dump or into a dumpster. If you were really keen you could dissemble the entire seat to recycle the parts.
If you live in one of the cities below, recycle! I wish more towns and cities had a program in place so these seats did not end up in dumps:
1018 Venture Way
Gibsons, BC V0N 1V7
Special Instructions: Cost is $5 per seat. Drop off hours are 8 am to 5 pm every day.
Queensborough Landing Return-It
Unit A - 409 Boyne Street
New Westminster, BC V3M 5K2
Special Instructions: Cost is $10 per seat. Depot open Monday – Saturday from 9:00 am – 6:00 pm, and Sundays from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm.
PMD Recycling Services
Special Instructions: See website for mobile locations on the 3rd Saturday of the month from 9 am to noon. Cost is $9 if you fully dismantle it (fabric, metal, foam, and plastic separated). Cost is $15 if they dismantle it for you.
PMD Recycling Services
6215 Marilyn Rd (off Sooke River Rd)
Sooke, BC V9Z 0X6
Special instructions: Depot is open Tuesday to Thursday from 9am to 4pm, Friday 9 am to 1 pm, and 2nd and 4th Saturdays 9 am to 4 pm. See website for additional mobile locations with monthly collection around Victoria. Cost is $9 if you fully dismantle it (fabric, metal, foam, and plastic separated). Cost is $15 if they dismantle it for you.
If you have any question or would like to book your own car seat check, please do no hesitate to contact a CPSAC technician! You can find a map of them, here
Kayla is a mom to three sons, wife, and doula. She works within the Shuswap/Okanagan Region providing mothers and their families with a whealth of knowledge and support in all things fertility, pregnancy, birth and beyond.