Above, one of three mounds at the Seneca Meadows Landfill in Waterloo, NY, as seen from the west side of Seneca Lake approximately eight miles away (through a telephoto lens). Credit: Kevin Colton, HWS.

EPA Region Map

EPA Region Map
EPA Region Map

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Waste of Both Kinds

I took these two pictures at my house this weekend, March 2011. As you can see, the first picture is of a box of disposable baby diapers and the second picture shows a couple of those diapers. When my daughter was a baby, especially a newborn, it seemed like I was changing, throwing away, and buying more diapers all the time. Lucky for me she was fully potty trained by 21 months so I was done with diapers unusually early. Now, my sister and my nephew, who just turned 6 months, live with us and he uses about 5-7 diapers a day. That’s a lot of diapers and thus, a lot of garbage.
On average, a child will go through several thousand diapers from infancy to toddlerhood. Since disposable diapers are discarded after a single use, disposable diapers increase the burden on landfills by contributing a significant amount to the growing garbage problem. Specifically, an estimated 27.4 billion disposable diapers are used and thrown away each year in the US, resulting in 3.4 million tons of dirty diapers being added to landfills each year.

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