What to do with old child car seats

All car seats are stamped with an expiration date, but what's a family to do with old, expired car seats? We have three sitting in our garage, and our regular recycling program won't take them -- even if I strip them down to the plastic. I hate to think of dumping them into the landfill because it seems so wasteful. Any suggestions?
St. Albert, Alberta

I must admit this question initially had me stumped. I'd never heard of anyone recycling a child's car seat before. And after a few inquiries I now understand why. It's near impossible.

The City of Edmonton's "Wasteman" informed me that child seats aren't recyclable because they contain too many types of materials – plastic, metal and cloth. However, one lead uncovered a recycler in Alberta called Kidseat Recyclers that accepts expired car seats. That's the good news. The bad news (for you) is that they're in Calgary. I'd suggest getting in touch with Kidseat Recyclers to find out if they do collections outside Calgary, or if they know of any businesses planning to expand this service to the Edmonton area.

Calgary residents can visit for more information about recycling expired seats at various Round-Up Clinics or Inspection Clinics. They promise to recycle or reuse any part of the seat possible, including metal, plastic and any other usable parts. Kidseat charges a recycling fee of $7 per car sear and an additional $2 for the base. You must also remove all fabric, foam and webbing.

Also, the Recycling Council of B.C. (604-RECYCLE) suggested Pacific Mobile Depots, which sets up a depot in Vancouver, North Vancouver and Coquitlam every third Saturday of the month from 9 until noon. Best of luck to all the parents out there.

Lindsay Coulter gives you the straight goods on living green. Send your questions to For more great tips, visit The David Suzuki Foundation at

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