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Child car seat recycling programme expands across Canterbury

Child car seat recycling programme expands across Canterbury

Canterbury councils are leading the way with child car seat recycling as seven new sites become available for parents to responsibly dispose of their expired or damaged child car seats.

SeatSmart, a programme aimed at ending the practice of sending child car seats to landfill, has partnered with the Waimakariri and Hurunui district councils to introduce the new drop-off sites. This sees the total number of sites around New Zealand grow to 29 in eight regions.

The new Canterbury sites are located at transfer stations and resource recovery parks in Amberley, Cheviot, Hanmer Springs, Waiau, Culverden, Rangiora and Oxford. These add to the two currently in Christchurch and one in Rolleston, and make Canterbury the region with the most sites for child car seat recycling. Four sites will also be available in Timaru soon.

Programme manager Toni Bye says it is great to see Canterbury taking the lead on child car seat recycling. “People generally send their old seats to the landfill, which is a waste of resources, or give them away which could unnecessarily put a child at risk. Many people aren’t aware that car seats have a limited life span of six to 10 years.”

Hurunui Deputy Mayor Marie Black, who has worked across the Hurunui and Waimakariri districts for the past 25 years, says the programme has her full endorsement. “It is paramount that old and expired infant and child car restraints are placed out of circulation and through this scheme will be repurposed and diverted from landfill.”

Waimakariri District Council Councillor Robbie Brine says the council can receive expired and damaged child car seats for recycling, thanks to funding from the Canterbury Waste Joint Committee.

“We’ll be charging $5 per seat because the cost of recycling them will be partially subsidised out of the Road Safety and Waste Minimisation budgets. By helping people to recycle their old child car seats we can improve child safety, and could save around 490 expired seats from going to landfill every year.”

SeatSmart was created by Hastings-based recycling specialist 3R Group. It was launched nationally in April 2016 and has collected over 6000 seats. Other than keeping car seats out of landfill it also promotes road safety by encouraging people to check the expiry date and condition of child car seats.

At least 40,000 child car seats reach their expiry date each year in New Zealand. Most end up in a landfill, despite around 90 per cent of a typical seat being recyclable.

Seats can be dropped off in the Hurunui District from February 1 at the Amberley, Culverden, Hanmer Springs, Waiau and Cheviot transfer stations. In the Waimakariri District seats can be dropped off from February 1 at the Oxford Transfer Station and Southbrook Resource Recovery Park in Rangiora.

There is a $5 recycling fee, reduced from $10 RRP thanks to subsidies from the Hurunui District Council and the Waimakariri District Council.

Drop off sites in Timaru are not yet accepting seats but will be soon. They will also carry a recycling fee of $5, thanks to a subsidy from the Timaru District Council.

For more information on the programme and collection sites visit www.seatsmart.co.nz.

© Scoop Media

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