Walmart's massive car seat recycling program begins

Participants will receive $30 gift card

By Allen Kim, CNN
Scott Olson/Getty Images

(CNN) - Walmart is partnering with TerraCycle -- a global waste management company that works with consumer product companies, retailers, cities and facilities to recycle "difficult-to-recycle" products and packaging -- to offer the nation's largest car seat recycling event, with nearly 4,000 Walmarts participating across the country.

People who participate in the program will receive a $30 gift card to Walmart for trading in their old car seats. The program began Monday and runs through September 30 in celebration of National Baby Safety Month.

TerraCycle founder and CEO Tom Skazy expects to "divert the plastic equivalent of approximately 35 million water bottles from landfills."

"Through the Walmart Car Seat Recycling Program, traditionally non-recyclable car seats are now nationally recyclable," said Szaky. "We are proud to work with this forward-thinking company to offer families from coast-to-coast a way to give their car seat, the item that has kept their little ones safe, a second life."

Using a material disassembly model for car seat recycling, TerraCycle will work with subcontractors around the country to take the car seats apart and separate them by their components. Once disassembled, the company will use each component to be processed further into a usable raw material in order to manufacture new products.

All of the work will be done in the US, and none of the car seat materials will make it into a landfill or be incinerated, said Brett Stevens, TerraCycle's global vice president of material sales and procurement.

"Safety -- especially car seat safety -- is a top priority for Walmart's Baby department, so we wanted to use our size and scale to create an event that offered unprecedented access to trade in an outgrown car seat for a gift card -- perfect for using on your baby's next car seat," said Walmart Baby Vice President Melody Richards. "Sustainability is of equal importance to Walmart, so we're happy to work with TerraCycle who will recycle every component of the car seats."

While this is not the first time that TerraCycle has worked with Walmart, this is the first time that the two companies have teamed up to offer Walmart's first national take-back program for car seats.

"TerraCycle's mission is to eliminate the idea of waste by collecting and recycling traditionally non-recyclable materials," Stevens told CNN. "Anytime we can team up with a retailer or consumer goods company to drive awareness around the fact that these everyday items can see another life, we are happy to be involved."

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