The Number Of Cities In Canada That Recycle Disposable Diapers Is Increasing
The town of Redwood Meadows in Alberta is an emerging satellite city, about 30 kilometers west of Calgary, with a population of about 1,000 people. It is now the first community in the province to achieve the recycling of disposable diapers, and is one of the few cities in Canada that no longer mixes diapers in the trash and sends them to landfills.
Generally speaking, a child under two and a half years old has to change diapers five times a day, and lose 1,825 wet and smelly diapers a year. A total of more than 4,500 diapers are used by the age of two and a half.
Mike Decore, a city councilor in the town of Meadows, said that there are more than 170 children under the age of four in their small towns, and nearly a million dirty diapers are lost every year. As a result, they contacted the Soiled Diapers composting company in Calgary, signed a cooperation agreement in the middle of the month, and now has a diaper recycling bin in the city's parking lot. From now on, the diaper will not be sent to the landfill.
The Soiled Diapers Composting Company was founded in 2015 by two college students who were fathers. They are all active environmentalists. They founded the company because they learned that about 2.4 billion used diapers were sent to landfills each year in Canada, which is equivalent to an increase of 3.7 million tons of garbage. It takes more than 400 years for all the buried diapers to be naturally degraded. So they worked hard to create the company that recycles diapers. It takes only 10 to 12 days for the company to degrade these diapers into fertilizer.
Joe Schwarcz is a professor at the Department of Chemistry at McGill University and the director of the Office of Science and Society. He has been paying attention to and researching the recycling and reuse of diapers for many years. He said that North America dumps about 30 to 40 billion diapers per year into landfills. This is a huge environmental pollution problem.
Professor Schwartz said: "Disposable diapers have come a long way since they were invented in the late 1940s. Modern products "are actually a very interesting and complex mixture. The outer layer is usually plastic – polypropylene or polyethylene – and the inner layer usually contains absorbent fibers derived from wood pulp. The sodium polyacrylate mixed in the fiber has an amazing ability to absorb moisture."
He explained: "In theory, diapers have biodegradable parts. But special conditions are required, not in landfills." Currently, manufacturers of disposable diapers are also working to reduce the amount of materials that are not easily degraded in products. As a result, today's disposable diapers are recyclable and can be recycled to landfills.
He said that although paper diaper recycling is still in its infancy in Canada, since 2002, the city of Toronto has begun to try to convert disposable diapers into compost.
As the largest city in Canada, Toronto has a population of more than 5 million. The city has an office dedicated to the management of solid waste. The office's manager, Nadine Kerr, said they were responsible for collecting roadside and other organic waste and then sending it to a processing plant. The machine separates the plastic from the organic matter. The plastic floats to the top and is thrown off and sent to the landfill; while organic materials, including baby stools, are sent to the anaerobic digester and become compost. Cole said that their factory now processes about 12,000 tons of baby and adult diapers per year. She said: "Our idea is to minimize the total amount sent to landfills."
As people's awareness of environmental protection has increased, some infants and young children in Canada and Europe have begun to use cloth pads, which can be washed and reused. But Schwartz said that diapers that can be used repeatedly are not only inconvenient, but also consume energy from the perspective of environmental protection, because the washing machine needs hot water and drying. Therefore, it is not considered to be better than disposable diapers. His advice is that diapers can be used at home, and disposable diapers can be used for travel.
He is in favor of promoting the recycling of diapers. "The best solution is to recycle diapers as soon as possible. Because with the aging of society, there are more and more diapers in the elderly. Therefore, recycling facilities should be more common." .
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