Car seat recycling programs good options for used child safety seats

By Tami Hoey

PHOENIX -- When it's time to switch out a child's car seat, what should parents do with the old ones? Good question, especially if a seat is old, damaged, expired or recalled.

The Valley's annual car seat recycling program is underway this week. But Wednesday is the last day to drop them off.

"We are doing our 6th annual car seat recycle event," says child seat safety expert Angelica Baker. "This Friday we're going to be dismantling and recycling the car seats. But today is actually the last day you can drop off your car seat at a NARPRO shop near you."

Neighborhood Auto Repair Pros Shops (NARPRO) are located Valleywide. You'll get a NARPRO VIP card with repair discounts and free safety inspection and free oil change in celebration of "Keep Your Planet Neat, Recycle Your Car Seat."

During the Keep Your Planet Neat, Recycle Your Car Seat event on April 18, volunteers will be on hand to dismantle hundreds of car seats, making sure that all metal, plastic and other material parts are properly recycled. Last year, more than 500 car seats were recycled. The event is hosted in conjunction with Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Safe Kids Maricopa County, Western Refining, and Tempe Marketplace. During this year’s event several Valley community leaders will be volunteering their time for this worthy cause.

Many parents don't know that car seats come with an expiration date. Every car seat is different, so always read the user guide to find out the seat’s expiration date and other important information. Most car seats last from five to nine years after they were manufactured (not necessarily after they were bought); that’s why it is important to check the user guide. Most infant car seats are the same.

You can find the expiration date molded in the car seat or printed on the shell, along with labels listing contact information and other necessary safety information.

If the seat has been in an accident, or your child has outgrown a seat, it could be time to recycle.

Other safety tips? Experts say you always want to make sure your car seat is in good condition and properly installed, not able to move more than an inch side-to-side or front-to-rear. Don't put a towel or blanket between the safety seat and your car seat.

One participating NARPRO is: Hi-Tech Car Care on Thomas Rd & 29th St., The address is 2924 E Thomas Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85016.

If you miss Wednesday's drop-off opportunity, a recycle event is taking place this Saturday at Tempe Marketplace from 8:00 a.m. to noon. Drop-off is at the North Parking Lot at Tempe Marketplace, 2000 E Rio Salado Pkwy, Tempe.

For more information on the Keep Your Planet Neat, Recycle Your Car Seat event, call 602-933-CARS or visit

NARPRO (Neighborhood Auto Repair Professionals): The Neighborhood Auto Repair Professionals (NARPRO) helps car owners find skilled and honest car repair shops. NARPRO only recommends independent, family-owned, full-service auto repair shops that have passed 26 rigorous tests. Visit or call 602.257.0033 to find recommended shops near work or home.

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