SeatSmart manager Toni Bye with one of the child car seats collected as part of the SeatSmart recycling programme.

SeatSmart manager Toni Bye with one of the child car seats collected as part of the SeatSmart recycling programme.

Dunedin has joined an ever-growing list of cities and towns where people can not only recycle things like glass, paper and plastic, but child car seats too.

The Dunedin City Council and Baby On The Move Dunedin have joined the SeatSmart child car seat recycling programme. They are now providing residents with drop off points to take their expired, damaged or unwanted child car seats to for recycling, instead of sending them to landfill.

At least 40,000 seats reach their expiry date each year in New Zealand, with most sent to landfill, despite around 90 per cent of a typical seat being recyclable, says SeatSmart programme manager Toni Bye.

Dunedin City Council is now the fifth South Island council – the first in Otago – and the 12th nationally to back the programme. Baby On The Move nationally has been a supporter of SeatSmart since the programme officially launched in April 2016.

“There have been a large number of calls from the public to get SeatSmart established in Dunedin and we are really pleased that Dunedin City Council are supporting us to answer that call, and expand the programme further in the South Island,” Mrs Bye says.

Seats can be taken to the Rummage Store at Green Island Landfill or Baby On The Move Dunedin with a fee of $10 (RRP) to cover the cost of recycling.

“Recycling child car seats can help reduce the amount of waste being sent to landfill. We’ve seen this programme work well for other councils and wanted to give people the opportunity to recycle their unwanted car seats,” says Dunedin City Council Education and Promotions Officer Catherine Gledhill.

Baby On The Move Dunedin owners Chris and Amber Houghton say it’s a “no-brainer” being part of the programme. “At baby On The Move we want to do our bit to help the environment and the next generation, so being able to recycle such a big piece of equipment for a small fee is so worth it, rather than it going to landfill.”

The collected seats are dismantled by offenders in Department of Corrections community work programmes. The plastic from the seats is recycled into new products used in the building industry and metal parts are also easily recycled.  Straps from the seats are used to make recycled bags.

The programme has 17 collection sites in the South Island; in Nelson, Christchurch, Rolleston, Oxford, Rangiora, Hanmer Springs, Waiau, Culverden, Cheviot, Amberley and now Dunedin.