Cloth nappy subsidy likely

More babies could be wearing cloth nappies if the Waitaki District Council adopts a scheme aimed at reducing the number of disposable nappies dumped in its landfills.

It could see the council selling starter packs of cloth nappies, which usually cost between $110 and $120, for $10, but only to Waitaki residents.

The council's assets committee has recommended the scheme proceed, but the council will make the final decision on September 22.

Already, the council operates a subsidy scheme for compost bins to encourage residents to reduce waste.

Solid waste officer Gerry O'Neill said the aim was to encourage parents to use cloth instead of disposable nappies, reducing waste going into Waitaki's landfills.

About 5% of the waste going to the Oamaru landfill was nappies and sanitary waste; about 12 tonnes a week.

"If every baby born in the Waitaki district over the course of a year used cloth nappies once a day for two and a-half years, this would result in about 200,000 disposable nappies being diverted from landfill," he said.

The initiative would be funded from $255,000 the council has set aside to promote waste minimisation.

If 50% of parents of newborn infants used the scheme, it would cost the council about $5500 a year.

- david.bruce@odt.co.nz

 

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