Green / Eco-Friendly

Diapers: biodegradable?

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  • Sep 20th, 2017 11:17 am
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[OP]
Deal Addict
May 7, 2006
1718 posts
19 upvotes

Diapers: biodegradable?

I see biodegradable diapers at a premium price at baby stores.

But Toronto's recycling program does not differentiate between diaper brands for their composting program.

Are diapers made of paper products?
Do I need to spend extra just to buy the "biodegradable" diapers?

Thanks.
8 replies
Deal Guru
User avatar
Mar 14, 2005
10854 posts
1473 upvotes
City of Vancouver
Vancouver's recycling program doesn't take diapers. I have no idea why Toronto's does. Maybe someone can explain? What about maxi pads? Does Toronto take those?
De gustibus non est disputandum
Crazy people will make even sane people crazy.
Jr. Member
Jan 7, 2017
103 posts
79 upvotes
Hamilton
I assumed municipalities don't take diapers because they don't want human pathogens in our compost waste, surprised anyone takes them!
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2004
24439 posts
2456 upvotes
East Gwillimbury
differing wrote:
Jun 4th, 2017 5:27 pm
I assumed municipalities don't take diapers because they don't want human pathogens in our compost waste, surprised anyone takes them!
What do you think happens to sewage from toilets?
Jr. Member
Jan 7, 2017
103 posts
79 upvotes
Hamilton
Gee wrote:
Jun 6th, 2017 6:59 pm
What do you think happens to sewage from toilets?
Does our green bin waste get chlorinated? No, there's no chemical treatment of our green waste. Your sewage gets chlorinated twice to destroy pathogens.
Does solid sewage from our poop go to food producers as high-quality compost? No, it goes to a landfill. Green waste is digested by bacteria and has zero guarantees of sterility.

Don't get me wrong - diapers are a huge environmental problem and if we're composting them, that's great! I'm just surprised that we are doing it, given that introducing human faeces into our food production stream is a classic avenue for disease. In Hamilton, we don't accept diapers or pet waste in our program, but I think that may be due to our system lacking the plastic capture step that Toronto uses.
Deal Addict
Feb 4, 2015
2395 posts
393 upvotes
Peel region not accept diapers in compost:

Acceptable Organics Items
These items are a sample of acceptable organics cart items.

food scraps
fruit and vegetable peels
bones, meat and fish
greasy pizza boxes and microwave popcorn bags
coffee grounds and filters
loose shredded paper
cotton balls
corn stalks
paper napkins, paper towels
house plants (soil removed)
Check How to Sort Your Waste to see if an item goes in your organics (green) cart.

Diapers and plastic bags – including grocery bags – are NOT acceptable in the organics cart.
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2004
24439 posts
2456 upvotes
East Gwillimbury
georvu wrote:
Jun 7th, 2017 1:32 pm
Peel region not accept diapers in compost:
You're right. When I lived in Mississauga, they didn't take them

In York Region, they take everything. Even feminine hygiene products.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Dec 11, 2004
7024 posts
758 upvotes
I'm not sure that just because it says biodegradable, it means you can compost it, it only means that as opposed to regular plastic diapers which takes 500 years, it may have additives (like in certain plastic bags) that speeds up the break down process/alternative material such as cotton and corn based, you still DO NOT want to put that in compost if the compost will be used for growing food for human consumption...

Composting program that takes everything most likely go through a heating process of some kind?

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