All car seats have either an expiry date, or a recommended period of use. Car seats should also no longer be used if they have been installed in a car which has been involved in an accident. It's important that you dispose of your car seat correctly, so that no-one else mistakenly thinks that it's safe and uses it for their child.
Cut the straps
Firstly, cut the straps so that the seat can't be used. We would recommend doing this whether the seat is going to be recycled or dumped, as there was a case in NZ where seats that were set aside to be recycled were stolen. It breaks our hearts to think that children could be travelling around in these unsafe seats.
You can drop the car seat off to one of the Seat Smart collection points in your region, a fee does apply, but the car seat will be dismantled and the plastic, metal, and straps can be recycled.
Lots of children love playing with dolls, and they love modelling your behaviour. How about a capsule for your child's 'baby'? It's super cute to see children strapping their dolls into a capsule so that they are safe. Just be sure not to leave it i the car- there have been cases where people thought that the doll was a real baby and smashed the window to save them.
If your region offers an inorganic collection you can leave your car seat out to be collected. Just be sure to:
Remove the fabric parts and dispose of them separately
Write 'not safe to use in a car' in marker pen on the side- or take to it with a sledge hammer so that no one else can use it
Cut the straps
If your town doesn't have an inorganic collection you can follow the steps above, then take the seat to the local dump.