Do you have an old car seat lying around? Donate it!

TMC’s car seat recycling program is back for a second year, following a successful inaugural year. TMC teamed up with the University of Arizona’s Enactus Club last year to collect unwanted, unused and expired car seats. Expired? Yes. Every car seat has an expiration date – a fact that tends to surprise many parents and caregivers.


Every car seat has a manufacture date on it. If it doesn’t also include an expiration date, simply add six years to the manufacture date to figure out when the seat expires.

The expiration date can be found on the seat, likely on a sticker, or imprinted somewhere on the plastic. Sometimes it can be tricky to find. If an expiration date for the seat is not listed, simply add six years to the manufacture date to figure out when that seat expires. Six years is the standard, according to child safety experts, because plastic can break down over time, especially in Arizona’s heat.

In Tucson alone, an estimated 19,000 car seats expire every year.

In February 2016, TMC will once again host an event with the UA Enactus Club where certified child passenger safety experts will meticulously inspect every seat using a detailed checklist. Restraints that are in good shape, not missing any parts and are less than 10 years old, according to the manufacture date, will be sent to Mexico as part of the Arizona Department of Health Services Safe Ride Home initiative. These seats will go directly into the hands of families who need them.


Some of the car seats that were sent to Mexico as part of the 2015 recycling event

So – why is an expired car seat that shouldn’t be used in the United States OK for a child in Mexico?

Because it’s better than nothing.

All other seats that don’t meet the standards will be stripped down, taken apart and recycled.

At last year’s recycling event, of the estimated 200 seats that were collected, 60 seats were sent to Mexico.

The Enactus Club named the program Buckle Up On Recycling.


▪ You can drop off any used, expired or unwanted car seats including infant seats, convertible seats and booster seats. Don’t worry about the condition or cleanliness of the seat!
▪ You can drop seats off anytime during normal business hours, Monday through Friday.

▪ Tucson Medical Center ∙ Community Outreach ∙ Southeast corner of the Farness Patio Building, 5301 E. Grant Road ∙ (520) 324-4110
▪ TMM ReStore, 2958 E. 22nd St. ∙ (520) 326-1936 (no longer collecting)
▪ Any Tucson Police substation ∙ click here for locations

Also, the Enactus Club would very much appreciate parents, grandparents or caregivers taking a brief survey about their car seat knowledge to help in their information gathering efforts.


  1. Paula Radmacher says:

    Please update your drop off locations! I called TMM ReStore this morning and was told they haven’t participated in 6 months.

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Tucson Medical Center | 5301 E. Grant Road | Tucson, Arizona 85712 | (520) 327-5461
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