Georgie Wiggins of Baby on the Move Hawke’s Bay, left, and Napier City Council Waste Minimisation and Sustainability Officer Stefni Wilson.

Napier residents can now recycle their expired or damaged child car seats at a discounted rate thanks to a partnership between the city council, Baby on the Move and SeatSmart.

A Napier City Council subsidy means recycling through the SeatSmart programme will cost $10 per seat. The collection site is at Baby on the Move Hawke’s Bay store in Onekawa.

Council Waste Minimisation and Sustainability Officer, Stefni Wilson says they hope the subsidy will help parents and caregivers recycle rather than send the seat to landfill.

“We know there are many components in a car seat which can be recycled, and they just take up space in our landfills. SeatSmart also helps bring awareness to the fact that child car seats have expiry dates, so this is another important aspect of this partnership,” Stefni says.

SeatSmart Programme Manager Toni Bye says up to 67% (by weight) of the material in an average seat is recyclable or reusable – like plastic, metal, and straps.

“We charge a recycling fee to cover the cost of transport, handling and dismantling of the seats. It’s great to have another council partner on board to help make child car seat recycling more accessible, especially at a time when the cost of living is putting pressure on New Zealanders,” Toni says.

Hastings District Council has a similar subsidy in place for recycling seats through the Refuse Transfer Station recycling area on Henderson Road.

The SeatSmart programme, created by circular economy experts 3R Group, has been running since 2016 and has 45 collection sites. It aims to tackle the issue of around 100,000 child car seats going to landfill each year, with recovered materials becoming a resource in our circular economy instead.

“Many parents aren’t aware that car seats expire due to exposure to temperature extremes in cars, changes in safety standards, and general wear and tear on straps and other seat parts,” says Toni.  “SeatSmart provides caregivers with a sustainable disposal option for their expired seat.”