What to do with it when you're done with it
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Recycle your Diapers

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Each baby diapered in disposables creates more than a ton of garbage before being toilet trained. In total, North Americans throw out nearly 20 billion disposable diapers a year. Various kinds of reusable cotton diapers are available at children’s clothing and department stores and through independent distributors. Using them will save you hundreds of dollars a year. Traditional flat diapers and pins are very cheap. Newer fitted diapers with elastic at the legs and Velcro fasteners cost more initially, but are very convenient and pay for themselves in a few weeks compared to the cost of disposables.

Some suggest that when you take into account the growing of cotton, the fuel used by a diaper service vehicle, and the waste water caused by washing dirty diapers, there may be very little difference between using disposable and reusable diapers. Disposable diapers take up perhaps 0.5% to 1.5% of landfill space. That’s a lot, but then there are other materials such as grass clippings, food and reusable building materials that take more space. A child using disposable diapers for a year is equivalent to the use of 54 U.S. gallons of gasoline, in terms of energy use.

One wonders if a combination of diapers with disposable liners would be a better option than either of the above. Why throw out most of the diaper including the plastic if only a small portion gets soiled? And perhaps a bio-digester which breaks down the cellulose and faecal material with heat treatment of the end result would beat both current options. Perhaps we should stop discussing which is better between two bad options, and find a new option that uses liners that can absorb human waste and then go to a bio-digester to be turned into methane gas (for fuel) and fertilizer/compost to renew the earth.


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