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Thread: Weird disposal question

  1. #1

    Default Weird disposal question

    Ok, so I have an unusual question that I would appreciate some help with...

    I recently moved into a (very large) apartment building that has a trash shoot in the hallway on each floor. I find it's really convenient for disposing of my trash, especially my diapers, since I don't have to take the elevator ride of shame down to the trashroom with a trashbag full of used diapers. I had never really examined the shoot itself in any depth until today, when I was reading a list of things that should and should not go down the shoot. Turns out, it's an INCINERATOR!

    So here's the question: should I continue to throw my diapers down there to be burnt, or should I start to take them down to the real garbage? The list of things not to throw down the shoot includes wire hangers, other metal inflammables, and plastics recyclables, I presume because the metal won't burn and because the plastic should go in the recycling. But what about diapers? Are they more of an environmental hazard being burnt than being throw away? Presumably, since I see people throw plastic bags down there all the time, the fumes aren't killing my neighbors. And I personally find the idea of burning my diapers strangely appealing.

    Thoughts? Anyone with any incinerator experience?

  2. #2

  3. #3


    I would just think it is better for it to be incinerated since if thrown away in the trash it will just sit in a landfill for 500 years to decompose. Even at that broken into pieces I would personally think it is better to just incinerate it. That's just me.

  4. #4


    You need to know more about your incinerator...if there is a "filtration" system in place, it's ok to toss plastics in it, however these type of filtration systems are typically only used at large scale incinerators...the ones that take up a few acers of land (because thats the kind of equipment it takes to scrub all the polutants out of garbage).

    I'd do the walk of shame if you're concerned about the environment. (Make note that the cloth fans would tell you to wear cloth if you're really concerned about the environment...but like you, I prefer disposables).


  5. #5


    Hi Duffy, well here's the thing: Diapers are not recycleable. Well reuseable ones are but disposible ones are not, so the only options are to send them to the dump or incinerate them. And honestly sending the dumnp is really unapealing to me; as they just sit there for eternity; while if you incinerate them; it does somewhat polute from the smoke; but it also breaks them down to ash, instead of letting them break down over hundreds and hundreds of years like they would at a dump.

    I personally inceinerate my diapers; in the fireplace. I live with my folks, and we live in a rural place, so there is no garbage pickup; instead we have to bring the garbage down to where my rents work and throw it away there, so I can't just throw my diapers in the garbage (they would notice; and my rents don't know; can't know). What I do is just get a good fire going (the fireplace is also our primary source of heat in our house), make sure there are good hot coals and it is hot enough then put the diapers in and wait for them to incinerate; takes 5-15min depending on wetness of the diaper and heat of the fire. So I would say incinerate them if you have the option; it saves a ton of space at the dump, and in my opinion is more environmentally friendly "greener".

  6. #6


    Quote Originally Posted by lonelyguy View Post
    (the fireplace is also our primary source of heat in our house)
    And you have internet access there?


  7. #7


    Quote Originally Posted by Angusmac View Post
    And you have internet access there?

    Yeah Yeah, Yes I do have internet; high speed as a matter of fact (just got it late last year!) but yeah my rent's house has a heater system, but mostly in the winter we just use the fireplace. The PNW is very different the NYC

  8. #8

  9. #9


    Quote Originally Posted by EpicPie View Post
    What happens if you some how fall into the chute?
    What happens if I gravity stops working and I fall into the sun?

  10. #10


    The trouble with burning any garbage that contains plastic is the risk of dioxins being emitted. Many dioxins are carcinogenic and bioaccumulative, so even small exposures increase the body burden. Most of the plastic in a diaper is polyethylene, and the tapes often polypropylene, neither of which are halogenated and don't cause significant dioxin production when burnt. But there may be materials, such as the elastic cords in the leg gathers, that are halogenated. Municipal garbage incinerators are now designed to avoid the temperature range in which dioxin formation usually takes place, and emit very little compared to other sources. So large scale diaper incineration is probably OK. There are also concerns with dioxin content of bleached fibres in absorbent pulp, but that's a different story...

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