ByLauren Murphy

Sep 18, 2017

Through Saturday, Sept. 23, you can take your old car seat into Target to get it recycled for free — and pick up a new car seat at a discount.

Face it, kids grow up so fast, and their well-being is No. 1. A huge part of keeping your bundles of joy safe and sound is having the right car seat. They need a seat that is the proper size and has all the right bells and whistles. As they grow, their safety needs will change. When is the last time you reviewed car seat safety? It may be time for an upgrade.

Lucky for you, Target is hosting a trade-in event at participating stores. Throughout the two-week event, you can hand off your used car seat and receive a discount when you buy a new one.


This program is a repeat of Target’s previous car seat trade-in event from April 2016. According to a Target exec, the first trade-in event brought in over a million pounds of car seat material to be recycled. Let that sink in: a million pounds of waste kept out of landfills. No wonder they decided to bring the program back!

More than 1.2 million pounds of car seats are expected to be brought to participating Target stores this go-round. The used seats will be transformed into new items, like storage bins or shipping pallets.

For this recycling endeavor, Target is partnering with TerraCycle, an organization that often joins forces with retailers and manufacturers around the world to collect and recycle a variety of used materials, especially hard-to-recycle ones. TerraCycle diverts millions of pounds of waste from landfills every month.

Why Recycle?

Car seats are made up of hefty plastics and durable fabrics, like polyester. These materials take ages to break down in landfills and spend their lifetime dirtying up the planet. Given that car seats aren’t recyclable via curbside programs and aren’t easy to upcycle, this event makes it simple to responsibly dispose of something that’s otherwise tough to recycle. In return for your used seats, you will receive a coupon good for 20 percent off a new and improved car seat, booster seat or similar travel system, should you be in the market for one.

To participate, find a store near you.

Feature photo courtesy of EQRoy /

Read More:
How to Recycle an Outgrown Child Car Seat
Roadblocks to Car Seat Recycling
7 Fuel-Efficient Car Options That Aren’t Hybrids

By Lauren Murphy

Lauren has a B.S. in environmental science, a crafting addiction, and a love for all things Pacific Northwest. She writes from her cozy downtown apartment tucked in the very northwestern corner of the continental U.S. Lauren spends her time writing and focusing on a healthy, simple and sustainable lifestyle.