TMC wants to recycle, reuse your old car seats
Tucson Medical Center is holding its second annual car seat recycling program on Saturday, Feb. 27.
Buckle Up On Recycling is an event where TMC staff and student volunteers are teaming up to collect used car seats. In-date car seats will be sent to needy families in Mexico, and old seats will be dismantled and recycled.
"There are about 1,900 car seats that expire in Tucson every year that go to dumpsters and we want to stop that from happening" said Jessica Mitchell, the community outreach specialist at TMC.
At last years event 224 seats were collected and 60 were sent to families in Mexico. This year organizers hope to collect 500 seats.
Mitchell went on to explain that car seats never decompose in landfills, so recycling efforts are especially important.
"We will take apart every car seat and every part will be recycled," said Mitchell. Foam from the seats will be used to make light weight building materials and the fabric from the harnesses will be made into new diaper bags.
Certified child passenger safety technicians will inspect all of the donated seats according to a State of Arizona issued safety checklist, and all car seats that are still in-date and in good condition will be donated to families in Mexico as part of the Arizona Department of Health Services Safe Ride Home initiative. Rio Rico Fire will pick up the seats from TMC and take them to Nogales.
"We will give them to families that either have a seat in bad shape or don't have a seat at all," said Mitchell.
In the Mexican state of Sonora, only about 13 percent of families with babies or small children have car seats, according to ADHS.
TMC is partnering with Enactus, a University of Arizona student group that creates and implements community programs meant to raise people's standard-of-living. These students helped start the Buckle Up On Recycling project and they continue to volunteer with the program.
The event will be Saturday Feb. 27 from 9 a.m. - 11 a.m. and any type of infant seats, convertible seats, or booster seats can be dropped off at one of the following locations: