Recycling scheme available to Hamilton parents aims to improve child safety
Parents could be unintentionally putting their children at risk by using out of date car seats.
Hamilton residents are being urged to check the dates when they purchased their childrens car restraints.
More than 40,000 child car restraints reach their expiry date each year in New Zealand.
A Hastings-based company 3R Group has initiated the 'SeatSmart' recycling scheme to take restraints out of circulation.
Most old car seats either end up in landfill, passed down to others or on the shelves of the local op shop and 'SeatSmart' recycling schemes manager Toni Bye wants to see less children put at risk.
"Many people aren't aware that children's car seats have a limited life span of six to 10 years," said Bye.
"For a variety of reasons the materials can degrade and weaken over time, which may affect how they would perform in an accident."
Under the scheme expired or damaged seats can be safely taken out of circulation and the materials recycled or reused elsewhere.
"Some people continue to use restraints after expiry because of a lack of understanding that exposure to sunlight, changes in temperature, and stress caused by accidents, can damage and weaken plastic," said Bye.
"Giving people the choice of a positive disposal option for their seats will, improve outcomes for both the environment and children on our roads.
In Hamilton, unwanted seats can be taken to Baby on the Move at 108A Rostrevor St.
Store owner Amy Attwood is really excited to be involved in the project.
"Being part of this programme means not only are we able to reduce our businesses waste but we are also helping our customers reduce their waste.
"Customers love the idea their old seats are able to be recycled, and if they are purchasing a new seat from us we will often waive the $10 fee to recycle their old seat."
So far SeatSmart has been introduced in eight centres: Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, Hastings, Wellington, Hutt Valley, Nelson and Christchurch.
In the short time it has been operating more than 4600 seats have been recycled.