TMC hosts second annual car seat recycle program

mapTucson Medical Center is teaming up with the Tucson Police Department, South Tucson Police Department, Marana Police Department and the University of Arizonas Enactus Club to collect used, unwanted or expired car seats.

Parents, grandparents and caregivers are invited to drop off used, unwanted or expired car seats on Saturday, Feb. 27, from 9 to 11 a.m., at TMC’s lot #29, at Glenn Street and Wyatt Drive.

While this event is designed to be a quick drop-off event, seats can actually be dropped off at any of the following locations:

▪ Tucson Medical Center, 5301 E. Grant Road, (520) 324-4110
▪ TMM ReStore, 2958 E. 22nd Street, (520) 326-1936
▪ Marana Police Department, 11555 W. Civic Center Drive, (520) 382-2051
▪ Any Tucson Police substation,

Infant seats, convertible seats and booster seats will be accepted. Don’t worry about the condition or cleanliness of the seat!

Car seats expire six years after their manufacture date. The manufacture date is on every car seat, likely on a sticker or imprinted 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.

On Saturday, Feb. 27, certified child passenger safety technicians, or CPSTs, will meticulously inspect all car seats that are dropped off, as well as any seats that have been collected since last year’s recycle event.

Restraints in IMG_3591good shape, not missing any parts and less than 10 years old, will be sent to Mexico as part of the Arizona Department of Health Services Safe Ride Home initiative. That seat could make a life or death difference for a child who would otherwise ride unrestrained in Mexico. In the Mexican state of Sonora, for example, an estimated 13 percent of babies and small children use car seats. In Arizona, that number is closer to 90 percent.

The Arizona Department of Health Services believes so few parents use car seats in Mexico because they simply can’t afford one, and car seats are typically more expensive. This new program has the potential to make a big difference by putting these seats directly in the hands of the families who need them most.

“Our hope is that if these families have access to a free car seat, there is a better chance of that child riding restrained than if we’re asking the families to go out a buy a new seat,” explained Jessica Mitchell, TMC’s community outreach specialist and CPST. Last year, of the estimated 200 seats that were collected, 60 seats were sent to families in Mexico.

“We are hoping this event provides an opportunity for families who – quite frankly – don’t know what to do with those old car seats that are collecting dust in their garage. We know that tossing them in the dumpster seems wasteful. Trying to sell them isn’t the answer either since both buying and selling secondhand seats is a safety issue because it’s impossible to know the history of the seat and whether it’s been in a crash. If people bring us their old seats, they can be assured the seats will either be used to protect another child or be recycled,” said Mitchell.

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


  1. Angela fisher says:

    Is their any way they redistribute carseats to familys in need for newborns?

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