Friday, March 19, 2010

Diapers, Chocolate, Day Off

Diapers in the Compost?

I recently received the following email from a reader:

I came across your blog and was very impressed with everything I read!

I gathered you live in the Toronto area
Here is a question I hope you may be able to answer (as I live in Quebec and am so curious)

Toronto has an organic waste program
I was interested to learn that diapers (with WASTE ? in them??) are placed into these containers and shipped away to the compost heap??
My question is any diapers (even those "plastic " ones; like Pampers??)

I use cloth and eco friendly diapers exclusively because I didnt want to place more of a burden on the environment than I already have (laundry is a necessary evil...)
So I was so baffled to learn that "plastic" diapers were being composed of in TORONTO.

I hope you can clear this all up for me.

Eagerly awaiting your reply
mom of a spunky one year old in Montreal, QC"

Answer is yes. We can put diapers in our green bin all kinds of disposable diapers does not matter whether it is a G Diaper, Pampers, Huggies, Seventh Generation and so on... The city uses a processing technique that separates the plastic from the compostable materials. This is what the city of Toronto say about it on their website.

"Toronto’s program was created to maximize convenience for residents which included being able to use plastic bags and to accept hard-to-process materials such as diapers."

Any plastic that goes into the system is removed as residue."

The disposal of plastic residue is the responsibility of our contractors. Our contracts specify that our residue must go to our own Green Lane landfill."

The system that Toronto chose to process our green bin materials is different than that used by other, less urban municipalities. The City’s own primary processing facility is functioning flawlessly and was built to remove the plastics in the system. This facility is also able to handle diapers. The plastic in diapers is removed as residue and fully accounted for but the remaining material is digested and composted."

Have I ever used the city's compost - no; so I can not comment on how effective the process is or the quality of the compost. I do know that many people line up every year to get the compost and the city always runs out. This year we need a large quantity of compost as we are going to plant lawn in our back yard; I am thinking of getting the city compost because it is free. If I do I will blog about it.

For the burden on the environment; It seems the debate never ends especially when you can toss your diapers in the compost. We decided that a combination works best for our family and our conscious (as to the burden on the environment) When we are home C Monster is in cloth and we use cloth wipes. We wash our diapers once every 3 or 4 days and use natural products to do so (vinegar, natural laundry soap, borax - it all depends on the day). When he is out and about for more then an hour (i.e. he will probably need a diaper change) we typically use Gdiapers. I say typically because we received 2 large boxes of pamper style diapers from my sister-in-law. I am not crazy we used them; to replace them with the same amount of Gdiapers would have probably cost over $200 - also they were already purchased whether I use them or someone else does. This combination of diaper styles seems to rest well with us; I think no matter what you choose unless you EC will tax the planet in one way or another - it's a matter of finding something you are comfortable with.

Chocolate & San Pellegrino

I rarely buy candy bars; if I want chocolate I will do the short walk to Kakayo and get an hand made organic truffle ( I know sound decadent - they are ). Today the chocolate monster that lives in me convinced me to buy not one but 2 candy bars (an Aero and Cadbury) and to wash them down a San Pellegrino Limonata.

The guilt monster in me fells horrible not one but 2 of these products are owned my Nestle - I don't like Nestle as a corporation.

Mama get's a brake

and C Monster spends the day with Papa... [Except for his needed mama and C Monster mandatory lolo (nursing) moments]

@ the drop in

why are you taking my picture - i just woke up

trip to the park

@ the park

must eat every last drop - ice cream

my money


Neigenuage said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Neigenuage said...

For more information on how the City of Toronto handles their compost (and other household waste), try to get a copy of _Garbage: The Revolution Starts at Home_ and watch it. It documents a family's story of keeping all its garbage (recycling, wet/compost and residual) for 3 months. I would greatly encourage anyone to do EC - my family has always done it. There's a comprehensive book out called _Diaper Free_ that may be helpful for anyone who is interested.

Pierrette said...

Tanks Kim, yes the Garbage: The Revolution Starts at Home is a fantastic film. I forgot about that one - I have a copy and watched probably over a year ago now.