News / Calgary

Cleaning up Calgary communities one car seat at a time

Kidseat Recyclers collects used and expired seats to reduce waste

Melanie Risdon-Betcher stands in front of the over 50 car seats donated as part of a community clean-up in southeast Calgary.

Josie Lukey / For Metro

Melanie Risdon-Betcher stands in front of the over 50 car seats donated as part of a community clean-up in southeast Calgary.

A blue pickup truck is already overflowing with car seats as someone else donates the skeleton of a seat. Melanie Risdon-Betcher - owner of Kidseat Recyclers - collects a levy of $10 from the woman dropping off the seat.

“I had to squeeze everything into the back and I have it netted and then I have bunch in my cab actually. I’m pretty full to the rafters, but I’ve got it safely netted,” said Risdon-Betcher.

As part of an effort to recycle outgrown and expired car seats, Risdon-Betcher started the program in 2010. Working with businesses like London Drugs, Risdon-Betcher promotes the program to keep more seats from ending up in landfills.

“To date we’ve recycled over 5,030 car seats and that’s diverted over 45,000 pounds of plastic and metal from the landfill," said Risdon-Betcher, who adds she started the program when she felt uncomfortable throwing her kids’ carseats in the garbage.

Another mother donating a seat agrees.

“I think it’s very important. I try to be as green as possible,” says Rachelle Norris, a mother of three. “I compost a lot of the food we eat, and this is just another step.”

Once the car seats are received by Risdon-Betcher, she strips the metal from the car seat and reduces it to a plastic shell. The metal and plastic then goes to local recyclers who break them down. Depending on the type of plastic, it is used to create materials like decking, fencing, rope and plastic bags.

Get more information about Kidsrecycles next event at kidseatrecyclers.ca.