Most people know that all manner of household items can be recycled and reused, but who knew that the diapers covering your baby’s bottom can be turned into furniture that you could sit on?
Several towns in Scotland are piloting a program by which disposable diapers are being collected to be turned into garden furniture, roof tiles and railway sleepers.
Authorities in the pilot areas will send diapers to a big treatment facility where the waste will be heated up to 125 degrees to sterilize and clean it. Then, the plastics and celluloids in the diapers will be converted into useable products such as park benches, road signage, railway sleepers and decking.
People in the pilot cities will set out their “nappies,” as the Scots call them, at the curb to be picked up. If, after 6 months, the program is deemed successful, it will be rolled out across Scotland.
A company in Canada and the UK that processes the diapers into useful products is Knowaste (see photo above of their roof tiles).
Disposable diapers are a huge contributor to landfill waste all over the developed world, so other countries should keep a close eye on Scotland’s program for recycling them.
According to some estimates, 3.5 tons of disposable diapers are sent to U.S. landfills each year.