SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Utah) – Millions of car seats are sold in the United States every year, but with a shelf life of just 6 to 10 years most will end up in landfills. That doesn’t have to be the case in Utah thanks to Safe Kids Salt Lake County.
 
“Here we are with this precious cargo saving the kids, but destroying their planet. So I was of the mind that there has to be a solution,” said May Romo with Safe Kids Salt Lake County.
 
The group does child safety seat checks and when a car seat is found to be no longer usable Safe Kids replaces it. Romo couldn’t stand the idea of so many car seats being thrown away. “I put out a plea, can some recycling company help us and reach a solution.”
 
PRO Polymers in Morgan accepted the challenge. Smokey Peck of PRO Polymers and Interwest Paper Inc. said, “You know there’s not a lot of money in it, but we truly believe that as a whole in a community service. It’s great for the county, it’s great for the kids and it’s one of our givebacks.”
 
Recycling car seats is very labor intensive. All the belts and fabrics have to be removed, those are sent to be burned at a waste to energy facility, and then the plastic – which makes up about 80% of the car seat – is chipped up and shipped off. “They turn them into a regrind,” said Romo. “That regrind is bailed, it’s shipped to a molding company and what is so fantastic about this program is that it’s made into a re-product, a plastic re-product; pipes for water and oil have been made.”
 
Thanks to the Safe Kids recycling program, in 2015 alone, nine tons of car seats were kept out of the landfill. 
 
For a complete list of drop off locations log on to: https://www.safekids.org/coalition/safe-kids-salt-lake-county