Managing nappies

With the red lid bin collected fortnightly, young families may be concerned about how quickly their bins will fill up with nappies and whether or not it will smell.

Compared to the old service there is more space overall in your bins each fortnight (860L compared to 720L). Ensure you are correctly separating waste across the green and yellow lid bins to maximise space in the red lid bin for the disposal of nappies.

In regards to odour, a ‘Community Nappy Trial’ conducted by Lake Macquarie City Council showed that the odour of bins containing nappies at the end of a fortnight were no worse than the odour of regular garbage bins at the end of a week. Furthermore, the trial showed that odour does not significantly increase with time, nor with the number of nappies in the bin.

There are a number of things you can do to minimise the odour in your bin:

  • Wrap the nappy into itself using the tabs.
  • Seal nappies tightly in plastic bags (you can double bag or use scented bags) before placing in the general waste bin.
  • Store the general waste bin in the shade and out of direct sunlight if possible.
  • Make sure your general waste bin lid closes properly and there are no cracks in the bin sides. If your bin is broken or cracked, contact Council to request a repair or replacement.
  • Consider using odour neutralizing products in your bin, including cat litter, crystals or bicarbonate of soda.
  • Place some odour neutralising products in the foot of a stocking and hang it on the inside of the red lidded bin, tying the stocking to the bin lid handle.
  • If possible, tip the contents of the nappy down the toilet before disposing.
  • Consider using modern cloth nappies.

Disposable nappy facts1

  • Can only be used once
  • Take 500 years to decompose
  • Use three times more energy, 20 times more raw materials and 2 times more water than reusables during the manufacturing process
  • Australian's use 5.6M nappies per day
  • 2 billion disposable nappies go to Australian landfills each year


Modern cloth nappies

Modern cloth nappies are a cost effective and environmentally friendly alternative to disposable nappies and they won’t fill up your bin.

Unlike the old terry towelling squares, modern cloth nappies are compact, easy to use and even fashionable.

For more information on cloth nappies and how to use them go to the Australian Nappy Association website.

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