How to Dispose of Diapers – The Right Way

Disposable diaper disposal zimshoppingmalls zim

Dispose diapers the right way so that you can play a positive part in saving our Zimbabwe and the planet. Most parents are concerned about the right way to dispose diapers yet there are few public campaigns on proper, healthy diaper disposal alternatives. With the recent Cholera outbreak in Harare we thought it was imperative for us to share some ideas on how we should be disposing diapers in Zimbabwe to reduce the spread of diseases and infections.

By now you should be thinking of how you have disposed of your children’s diapers or how your relatives and neighbors dispose their diapers. Maybe go as far as asking a few people in your circles and you will be shocked at the responses. And everyone has a reason for using their chosen method – the reasons might shock you more than the chosen method. We won’t get into some of the crazy reasons we heard in our research for this article… let’s focus on educating each other on the right alternatives to dispose diapers.

Some highlights about disposable diapers before we jump into the alternatives;

  • diapers have a plastic coating
  • fecal matter in the diapers can contaminate ground water through landfills or the sanitation workers that pick up the trash
  • fecal matter in diapers can preserve e-coli salmonella, hepatitis among other bacteria and viruses
  • when burnt diapers can release toxic dioxins into the air
  • disposable diapers are not recycliable
  • some say normal diapers can take more than 400 years to break down in a landfill

Diaper Disposal Alternatives:

  1. Empty feces into your toilet before disposing the diaper to reduce the risk of the fecal matter coming into contact with people between the time it goes in your trash-can to being properly disposed of by the garbage collectors
  2. Ideally rinse the diaper before disposing of it after dumping the fecal matter in the toilet
  3. wrap the rinsed diaper in a ball and use the adhesive strips to seal the diaper so as to secure the remaining waste
  4. Place the diaper in a diaper bin or temporarily in a plastic bag ready for appropriate disposal
  5. Remember to wash your hands after disposing the diapers
  6. If you are on the go, you can use zip-lock bags to store your diaper until such a time you can appropriately dispose of it

Alternate Considerations:

  • The local municipality can provide compost services and therefore have a seperate bin where diapers and pet waste go into a compost facility for use with vegetation not intended for human consumption
  • Offer some form of rebate to encourage parents to properly dispose diapers through a municipal collection site.
  • Ban disposable diapers not made with biodegradable material
  • Promote the use of cloth diapers
  • Research better alternatives to current standard disposable diapers; alternatives that will be as convenient and popular.

It will be interesting to read some ideas from readers. Surely someone out there in our beautiful Zimbabwe has a viable solution… let’s discuss.

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