SIFT_webThe SeatSmart child car seat recycling programme is opening in Christchurch thanks to support from Canterbury’s Sustainable Initiatives Fund Trust (SIFT).

The programme is already operating in Auckland, Hamilton, Hastings and Nelson and aims to collect and recycle some of the 40,000 plus child car seats going to landfill each year in New Zealand. According to Michelle Duncan of 3R Group, the SeatSmart programme manager, up to 94% of a car seat’s components can be recycled, bringing significant benefits and freeing up valuable landfill space.

“Seats are dismantled by Department of Corrections as part of their community work programmes, and the recovered plastic is recycled into new products used in the building industry.

“Metal parts are taken to metal recyclers, and the harnesses are used by Karkt NZ who make handmade bags from a variety of recycled items.

“At the moment it’s only the fabric covers and liners that we’re unable to recycle – but we’re always open to ideas!”

Along with reducing waste to landfill, the programme also aims to improve awareness of car seat expiry dates, and therefore improve road safety for kiwi kids.

“Giving people the simple option of recycling their seats for a small fee of $5.00 per seat we believe will improve outcomes for both the environment and children on our roads,” says Mrs Duncan.

SeatSmart is supported by original project members Auckland Council, Baby on the Move, Hastings District Council, Plunket and the Department of Corrections.

SIFT chose to support the programmes introduction to Christchurch because of its collaborative approach and the potential to divert large volumes of recyclables from landfill, says SIFT General Manager Maria Wake.

“By working together, the SeatSmart programme participants have found a better end-of-life solution for a product thought of as too hard to recycle. SIFT is pleased to support this positive initiative in Christchurch.”

Anyone with unwanted or expired child car seats can take them to either of the two Baby on the Move outlets in Christchurch, situated in Parklands and St Albans.