Hannah Fabish at Baby on the Move Lower Hutt with seats brought in for recycling.

Hannah Fabish at Baby on the Move Lower Hutt with seats brought in for recycling shortly after SeatSmart launched in the Great Wellington region.

We are really excited to see that just over seven months after launching in the Greater Wellington region SeatSmart is making a difference.
The programme seems to have struck a chord with residents, with more than 300 seats collected and sent for recycling since it launched there in April. Like seats from other regions these are sent to the Department of Corrections for offenders in the community work programmes to dismantle.
“It’s a terrific indoor project for our community work team when the Wellington weather prevents us from working outdoors,” says Jayne Stevens, Service Manager at Wellington Community Corrections.
“Offenders are amazed at how much of a child car seat can be recycled. They’re enjoying working as a team, gaining experience using tools some of them haven’t used before, and are taking the message home to their friends and families that there’s another life for car seat materials once they’ve reached their expiry date.”
SeatSmart also has the support of local councils. Hutt City Council environmental sustainability advisor Sandy Beathcroft says the programme is an excellent initiative and the uptake has been fantastic. “We constantly have people wanting more things to be recycled.”
At least 40,000 child car restraints reach their expiry date each year in New Zealand. Most end up in a landfill, despite around 90 percent of typical seat materials being recyclable.
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, which was launched nationally in April 2016, recently saw its 6,000th seat collected. People with expired or damaged seats can hand them in at the participating retail stores and resource recovery centres with a $10 fee (RRP) to cover recycling costs.
SeatSmart is supported in the Greater Wellington region by Hutt City Council, Kapiti Coast District Council, Upper Hutt City Council and Wellington City Council. There are currently seven collection sites at Baby on the Move Ngaio, Lyall Bay and Petone, The Sustainability Trust, Wallaceville Playcentre, Southern Landfill Recycle Centre and Otaihanga Resource Recovery Facility.
Click here for a complete list of collection sites around New Zealand.