In a study commissioned by the National Association of Diaper Services (NADS), Carl Lehrburger of Energy Answers Corporation, a resource recovery company in Albany, New York, estimates that parents pay ten cents in disposal costs for every dollar spent on throwaway diapers.
With 18,000,000,000 soiled diapers being hauled to the landfill every year, Lehrburger figures that American mothers and fathers spend $300 million annually on disposable diapers that take 500 years to decompose.
Throwaways comprise 2 percent of the nation’s solid waste by weight, making them the third most common solid waste item after newspapers and beverage and food containers.
Even if all 18,000,000,000 of the single-use diapers disposed of annually in the US were biodegradable, the public would still spend $300 million each year for their disposal.
Each family that chooses cloth diapers for their child prevents one ton of waste from entering the solid waste stream each year. (Diapers in the Waste Stream, 1989)