Look!: Composting Diapers, Food and Leaves

Look!: Composting Diapers, Food and Leaves

Maxwell Ryan
Sep 9, 2008

This may not make for savory lunch fare, but it should, because this is all about how there's a lot of stuff that we use that doesn't need to become "trash" and can become "food" for the earth (and us, in the long run). These pics are of our big outdoor composter out at our family's place on Long Island. We bought the tumbler barrel type so that it was easy to turn and big enough to take a whole season's worth of kitchen scraps and diapers...

Compost before with just kitchen cuttings thrown in

Our composter is a URBAN COMPOST TUMBLER -UCT7, and recently we've taken to putting all of our eco diapers into it as well. This is a big breakthrough, since these things produce more garbage than almost anything else.

Next go in the diapers

The diapers are G Diapers and 100% biodegradable (they are actually the inserted pads. The liner and covers are reusable) and breakdown much more quickly than I expected. As you can see we, in this one weekend load, we put in more than half a dozen wet diapers (pee pee only) and after a few turns, they were already getting broken down by the rich compost that we've got going in there (I also put in some 7th Generation diapers which are NOT entirely biodegradable as well - by mistake - but I am going to see how the parts of them break down and pull out the remainder at season's end).

After a few turns, it's all blended into the compost and the bugs are at work

BTW, these pics were taken about a month ago and this past weekend, EVERYTHING in the barrel is dark black/brown compost and there is no bad odor. A good, hot compost (turned often) is amazing with the speed with which is can break down so much "trash" and turn it into "food."

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