Nappy waste disposal

A comparison of environmental impacts, costs and hygienic aspects of processing routes

This study, an update of a study from 2003, analyses the environmental impacts, costs and hygiene pros and cons of various means of nappy waste disposal. Four routes were examined:
  1. collection with the residual fraction of household waste and incineration in a municipal waste incinerator;
  2. collection with the green waste fraction, with subsequent composting;
  3. collection as green waste, with subsequent bio-digestion;
  4. separate collection and processing using the Knowaste process.

The study concludes that the first route, municipal incinerator, is the most attractive. In the composting and bio-digestion routes the presence of super-absorbent polymers (SAPs) and faeces are a problem. Separate nappy collection and processing causes by far the highest greenhouse gas emissions, owing to the high energy consumption of the processes.

Report in Dutch

Delft, May 2007