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Thread: Disposal nappy/diaper recycling & collection by councils (UK)

  1. #1

    Default Disposal nappy/diaper recycling & collection by councils (UK)

    Something that's been mentioned a few times now in the news is some councils are introducing either special bins, or special bin bags for disposable nappies.

    Some are just chucking these in landfill anyway but apparently there are processes for recycling disposables that reclaim 98% of the nappy (used in roof tiles and bike helmets of all things!).

    Sounds great.

    However, my only concern is the way the councils in the UK are introducing dedicated bins for just about everything (I have 4 as it is!) and in some cases are keeping a watch on what you throw (with the potential to charge for throwing waste at some point, now a lot have microchips in the bins), and could fine you for not using the correct bin.

    The problem with this is it may mean having a special nappy bin or bag outside the house in public view! Fine if you have kids, but otherwise a potential problem.

  2. #2


    Hmm...At the moment I have one rubbish bin and a recycling tub. But I've seen other buildings with different coloured bins for different things (garden waste etc).

    Hopefully, the bin is optional. But, yeah the rules have tightened up over recycling, so it's not impossible to imagine there becoming guidelines enforced re. nappies.

    If incontinent people were forced to have a tell-tale bin outside their house, that would be inconsiderate, so hopefully the council(s) would think twice about making it compulsory. Or people would make them consider that!

    It would be great to have them recycled though. If there was a discreet way to bin them. I'm surprised they can be recycled at all, let alone 98%. And yeah, now I've got mental images of cyclists with nappies on their heads.

  3. #3


    I doubt this'll catch on according to its a difficult process, and i dont think the gains would justify the cost of the process, the pilot schene in the midlands is going to be funded by the canadians, who will doubtless keep the proceeds.
    the article from the guardian,
    Knowaste, the canadian company behind the scheme, provides a good explination of the process Here.
    According to them ALL hygene products can and should be recycled, this includes FHPs
    so almost all households would be recycling something in the scheme, not just those with kids.
    I dont know, but if this catches on a lot of people will be reluctent to recycle their 'private' waste unless they make the system disscreet, so those issues should surely be addressed if the plan goes ahead nationwide.
    what can be recycled from a nappy,

    looking at this it looks like a plauseable process, if the can make energy from it then it could be worthwhile.

    DM, I'm with you on the too many bins thing, at my dads, Theres a,
    green box for food waste,
    blue box for metal and glass,
    white sack for paper,
    blue (or is it green ?) bag for plastics, but only certain types,
    brown bin for garden waste and a,
    black bin for 'non recyclables', youre not even allowed to call that a rubbish bin anymore.

    Thankfully at my bit theres theres only 3 bins,
    a green one for rubbish,
    a brown one for garden waste and ,
    a blue one for recycleables,

    the only problem with this is that almost a the things my council recycles ( fabrics, plastics, paper etc) are flammable so the local yobs set fire to them, which is a bit of a pain, then the council charge YOU £100 for a new bin, and you can get fines for overfilling your rubbish bin, that gets collected fortnightly , and if you put the wrong stuff in the wrong bin, this includes putting recyclables in with youre rubbish which is just silly.

    For all its hassle recycling is a waste of my time when i know people are takeing perfectly good stuff, stuff that i want, to dumps across the country, just because they got some thing new (and doubtless chinese) to replace it, i just hate seeing old british and westeren european made goods go for scrap just becase moderen society places price over quality and craftsmanship.
    MADE IN W.GERMANY a mark of true quality, i get goosebumps every time i see it.

    This has turned into a rant,

    ---------- Post added at 02:45 AM ---------- Previous post was at 02:22 AM ----------

    more info from the beeb
    BBC NEWS | Business | Recycling firm dreams of nappy days
    Last edited by HappyNappin; 02-May-2010 at 01:28. Reason: img fail, spelling

  4. #4


    I have 4 types of bins in my region also:

    Black: all general waste
    Green: Garden waste
    Small Brown box: Food waste
    Small Green box: For paper and cans etc

  5. #5


    They tried something like this in my town (not with diapers though), but then they gave up after a few years.
    Last edited by ShippoFox; 02-May-2010 at 10:51.

  6. #6


    If they did introduce special bins for nappy/diaper recycling, it would be quite a logistical nightmare on the council side of things. What would happen, a family has a baby and they get a nappy bin delivered and go out and get one themselves? Then the child becomes potty trained do you then have to return the bin? Seems like its more hassle than what its worth.
    As for adult nappies, I don’t think they would introduce it as in theory “not many” people use them. A bin for baby nappies seems plausible, but not adult nappies.

  7. #7


    I like the idea as I recycle everything I can. There is so sense using up more resources and filling up land land space when something can be reused.

    In my county we have 3 types of bins. Trash, Green waste(yard debris) and mixed recyclables. I'm all for adding diapers to the recycle bin if I could.

  8. #8


    People in this country have been recycling Nazis since the late 1980s, and we don't have any extra trashcans for diapers.
    Since the EU outlawed landfills, diapers are actually welcome in the normal trash as they make excellent material for burning trash, either directly in the trash treatment plant, or after drying the non-recyclable trash and shipping it to companies like steel mills and what not. In fact, there was an article in a paper a few years back that Bremen's trash burning plant imported diapers from adult nursing homes in Hamburg (80 miles away) because of their caloric value.

    So I don'T see any new recycling cans for diapers coming any time soon. Besides, how are you gonna recycle shit anyway? Extract it from the diaper material and throw it on a corn field?

  9. #9


    I have heard of this as well, each local authority have there own recycling schemes its a shame that they cant get to gether & standardise the whole system i am sure this would be alot simpler to implement so each council is the same. Most councils now have alternate collections now to encourage people to take more care about what is thrown away. I do try to look at every thing that goes into my bin , the majority of which can be recycled. As some one has pointed out already, it would be quite embarrassing to have your nappies put in a dedicated bin each week for all the neighbours to see. I dont think this will ever happen
    as there would be little demand for it. If you use alot of nappies some local authorities will arrange to pick them up for you. I myself just put my nappies /pants in a nappy sack & place them in with my normal household waste

  10. #10


    I recycle everything I can, plastic cardboard etc, the only thing I toss out is paper, junk mail etc, I put out about 1 trash bag a month.

    I don't make any food waste because I eat everything I make or buy, my diapers I recycle to Mc Donalds outside trash bin in gallon zip lock bags inside a plastic grocery store bag for cover.

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