Disposable Nappies.

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ohareward
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Disposable Nappies.

Post: #61080 ohareward
Mon Jun 11, 2007 1:36 am

A couple here in North Canterbury, NZ, are taking the guilt out of disposable nappies by transforming them into environmentally friendly compost.
Mother-of-two Karen Upston and her husband Karl have started the country's first commercial-scale disposable nappy-composting service, using a machine that can compost up to 2000 nappies a day. "This machine could save hundreds of tonnes of waste dumped in landfills," says Karen. "And there is no shortage of customers queuing to get hold of the final product-rich organic compost that will provide goodness in any garden."
The pair was inspired by Christchurch student Natalie Crimp, who won world-wide recognition for her nappy-composting school science project.
"Natalie produced good quality compost from used disposable nappies," says Karen. "Lab tests showed that any dangerous bacteria were completely removed in the process. The compost was so clean it was safe enough to eat."
The Uptons are using Hot Rot composting technology, developed by R5 Solutions, compost about 300kg of used nappies a day. The prototype machine can compost up to 500kg of waste a day, or about 2000 nappies.
Natalie Crimp has since designed a pop up sticker that tells the wearer that they have received enough sun.
She has been offered a four year science scolarship to Duke University in North Caroliner in USA.

Robin
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Post: #61128 Clara
Mon Jun 11, 2007 12:41 pm

Very interesting, but I just don´t get it.....

Are these regular disposable nappies? What about all the gels and plastics?

Maybe this woman should be given a seat at the UN or something!!!!
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Annpan
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Post: #61129 Annpan
Mon Jun 11, 2007 1:06 pm

No, the plastics in regular disposables (i.e huggies, pampers) would not break down it takes aprox 50 years for a disposable nappy to degrade, which means that every regular disposable nappy that has ever been sold to the mass market is still sitting in a land fill... nice :pale:

However there are brands which do degrade one that springs to mind is Tushies (I think that they are bamboo based)Which you can dispose of in your own wormery. :mrgreen:

It takes alot to manage a wormery however and it detracts from the benefits of disposables. I'd imagine that most would still send these to landfill. Washable are still the most viable alternative, if you want to do your bit for the planet.

There is a disposable on the market from Nature Baby which claims to be 70% degradable, It is the only "eco-friendly" available at many highstreet stores and supermarkets.

The other possitive aspect of these "eco -friendly" nappies is that the contain little to none of the toxins found in regular disposables which means they are better for your baby's wee bum too :mrgreen:

The Nappies that these people are composting are presumably a bamboo based product similar to the Tushies brand.
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Post: #61328 ohareward
Tue Jun 12, 2007 9:37 pm

Hi Annpan. I will find out how they get around some of the points you have brought up, and what type of nappies they compost.

Robin
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Post: #61335 ohareward
Tue Jun 12, 2007 10:41 pm

Hi Annpan. I rang the nappy composting people, and the lady said that we don't have the bamboo type here in NZ. They compost all disposible nappies that are on sale. The plastic content is screened out at the end of the process and she said that they are working with another man who is into recycling plastic. She could not tell me too much as it is still under review.

Robin
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Post: #61390 Annpan
Wed Jun 13, 2007 10:49 am

Well in that case, I gracefully climb down off of my podium. :cooldude:

Wow! that really is something amazing. Is it a super heated compost unit thingy? or is it a wormery type?

It would be great to see this rolled out on a more international scale.

Always happy to be proved wrong (when it is better for the common good) :mrgreen:
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Post: #61474 Cornelian
Wed Jun 13, 2007 8:34 pm

What a fabulous idea! I, too, had wondered about the plastic bits, and had somehow imagined they would need to be cut off first (a time consuming and not altogether pleasant task! LOL). I hadn't thought of them being screened out at the end of the process.
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Post: #61479 Thomzo
Wed Jun 13, 2007 8:53 pm

I gather that black tubtrugs are made from the waste plastic from the nappy manufacturing process so I guess that plastic can be used. It sounds like they are using a heat process if it's called "hot rot".

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Post: #61480 the.fee.fairy
Wed Jun 13, 2007 8:54 pm

so...scuse me for being a bit thick here...

do they open up the nappies before they go in the composter?
Do they empty them of any um...solid bits first?
Is rotted baby poo good for the garden?

i bet it stinks in the hotrot!!

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Post: #61503 ohareward
Thu Jun 14, 2007 4:49 am

Hi all. The lady did tell me that they have gone global, but she said she could not tell me too much as it was commercially sensative.
I don't think they would need to screen out the solids as baby poo would be alright for compost. It is a hot process. The magazine had a photo and the cylinder was about one metre in diameter and about four metres long.

Robin
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Post: #62734 rag_grrl_nz
Mon Jun 25, 2007 9:18 am

I still think it is far better to use modern cloth nappies. Disposables are still causing damage to the environment in their production and they are made with oil by-products so they wont be much good post peak oil...
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Post: #62741 red
Mon Jun 25, 2007 10:12 am

hi Helen...welcome

yes its true - you still have to think about the manufacturing side of disposables...

I was in a minority using cloth nappies when my son was a baby- my son is a teenager now so its a while back - and had to fold the square ones.. I guess there is the manufacture of the cloth nappies too - but hmmm mine were terry cotton, so cant be as bad as a packet of disposables? and I still have some lurking about as floor cloths now.. so they last...
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