Each year over 160 million diapers (or nappies as they are known in the UK) are sent to Scotland’s landfills. However a new recycling scheme is aiming to take those used diapers and turn them into park benches, garden furniture, decking, bollards, railway sleepers, fencing, roof tiles and cardboard. Other bathroom waste will also be recycled, including incontinence products, wet wipes, nappy sacks and cotton wool.
The scheme will be trialled within four Scottish councils – Fife, Stirling, Perth and Kinross and North Lanarkshire – and across 36,000 homes. It will run for six months at first, but if successful, it will be taken nationwide.
The project is funded by Zero Waste Scotland, who hope the project will not only make it easier for parents in the four pilot areas to do their bit for the environment, but also cut down on the 450,000 nappies that are dumped every day in Scotland. Apparently a baby (in Scotland) uses on average 4.16 nappies per day and less than 10% are reusable.
The project has also won the support of Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead. In a press statement, he said: “Disposable nappies, although convenient, do have a huge impact on the environment with a staggering 450,000 ending up in landfill each day in Scotland. This innovative new scheme is a fantastic step forward for recycling and makes it easier for parents to do their bit for the environment.
“It’s great that new technologies allow us to recycle even more materials. In this way, we can reuse our waste and treat it as a valuable resource with the potential to boost our economy.”
Iain Gulland from Zero Waste Scotland added: “Piloting different methods of collection for these products allow us to evaluate the system people prefer and are most likely to use. Turning nappies and other absorbent hygiene products into products like decking and benches might sound surprising, but putting them to good use is far better than sending them to landfill. I would urge those living in the pilot areas to take up the scheme.”
Any project that cuts down on landfill waste and makes use of dirty diapers is definitely a winner with us!
Via BBC News