An opportunity not to be wasted


Hamilton’s expired child car seats are being recycled and the straps transformed into trendy tote bags, thanks in part to Hamilton City Council funding.

The SeatSmart child car seat recycling programme is just one of the initiatives supported by council’s Waste Minimisation Fund. 

3R Group’s SeatSmart programme manager Toni Bye says the programme recycles and repurposes materials from child car seats, most of which have an expiry date of 6 to 10 years. Rather than ending up in landfill, or continuing to be used, SeatSmart recycles the metal and most of the plastics from expired or accident-damaged seats. The programme also raises awareness of expiry dates, helping to improve safety for children on our roads.

“We recover around 75 percent of the materials in every car seat. While most of the materials are recycled, one small business repurposes the seat straps to make tote bags using PVC from bouncy castles.

“The Waste Minimisation Fund has helped us reduce the cost of recycling child car seats to $10 at Baby on the Move on Rostrevor Street, or $15 at Go Eco Environment Centre in Frankton, so it’s more affordable for the people of Hamilton,” Bye says. The fee is usually around $25.

“It’s a great example of the type of initiative we’re keen to support; reducing waste, educating the community and encouraging people to do things differently,” says Hamilton City Council waste minimisation advisor Belinda Goodwin.


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