Where Can I Donate a Car Seat?
We receive this question frequently and know many people wonder what to do with used car seats, so we put together a resource for donating, giving, and recycling.
"I have children’s car seats to donate. Where could they be delivered? I would be happy to travel to a destination or they could be used in my area."
Car seats are a challenge, to be sure, and any equipment for children has the same challenge due to the liability hazard it places on nonprofits. This question reflects a dedication to going a little above and beyond to make sure the items are reused - something that if we all did, would have a massive impact on waste and the planet.
Can My Car Seat Be Donated?
For car seats to be ever be considered for donation, a few key things need to be checked:
Where Can I Donate My Car Seat?
Even after you are certain of the 4 criteria for donating, there are still very few nonprofits where you can donate. Even organizations that might consider them often don't because donors may not check the safety and quality criteria and drop off items that are unusable. They then become a burden that organizations have no capacity to manage, and cost not only extra time, but money to recycle.
However, there are generally always a few that will take good, usable car seats, even if they don't publicly share the information. Sometimes it takes a bit of searching and reaching out to people individually, so they can trust that the car seat donation will be clean and safe.
Who may take car seat donations?
Can I Give My Car Seat Away?
One way to find people and organizations that might need your car set is to post it to your neighborhood group on Facebook, NextDoor or other connection group, or even just ask around. Often friends and family are a best source because they know you and everyone involved can feel comfortable that it is safe and clean.
Here are some options to offer it on local social media groups:
Where and How Can I Recycle My Car Seat?
If they are expired, were in an accident, or recalled, they can be recycled.
Keep in mind that they are a lot of work to recycle in that they are made from a large number of different materials, so it takes a fair bit of work for companies that specialize in this. Unfortunately, just throwing them out creates large plastic waste that can last 1000 years in a landfill. Hopefully, manufacturers of the future will keep this in mind and do better with designs that can more easily be broken down and reused or recycled better.
Here is a list of options to check out for recycling:
What Else Can I Do With My Car Seat?
Finally, if you must dispose of it, here are some guidelines to consider:
What about Other Baby Items?
For cribs and other baby items with safety regulations, it's sort of the same thing. Check the manufacturer for any recalls/issues, and if they meet current safety standards, can be donated. The same challenges are associated with cribs due to child safety and liability hazards for the nonprofits. Again, the best way might be to reach out directly to people - family, friends, and your local neighbors for places and people that need them.
Donate Good Stuff exists to help you find the best home for your donation items and we recognize it's just part of the challenge of having too much stuff. How do you declutter what you have, reduce the amount of stuff you bring into your home, and continue to move toward sustainable and environmentally kind living? We can help with that, too. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, or subscribe to our newsletter for regular tips and creative ideas for managing your stuff, reducing waste, sustainable living, and being part of a connected community.
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