How to Dispose of Disposable Diapers Properly

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Many people dispose of dirty diapers incorrectly.
Many people dispose of dirty diapers incorrectly. (Image: babie image by Yvonne Bogdanski from Fotolia.com)

Most people dispose of diapers improperly. Many people place their babies’ soiled diapers in the trash, which is incorrect. According to the American Public Health Association, putting a soiled diaper in the trash puts sanitation workers’ health at risk and can contaminate groundwater with dangerous bacteria. Enteric viruses, such as polio and hepatitis, can live in excrement months after it has left a human body, which can cause those who come in contact with the infected stool to become ill. For this reason, it is important to know how to throw out your baby’s disposable diapers correctly.

Things You'll Need

  • Diaper wipe or paper towel
  • Toilet
  • Diaper disposal system
  • Small trash bag
  • Trash can with lid

Remove any solid matter from the diaper, if possible, and place it in the toilet. Use a diaper wipe or paper towel to remove the waste. Flush the cloth and the waste down the toilet.

Flushing your baby's waste down the toilet prevents others from coming in contact with it.
Flushing your baby's waste down the toilet prevents others from coming in contact with it. (Image: toy toilet image by Wayne Abraham from Fotolia.com)

Roll the diaper onto itself, with the clean part of the diaper facing outwards. Use the diaper tape to close the diaper shut.

Place the diaper in a diaper disposal container. Such containers are usually available at stores that sell baby merchandise. These disposal systems are similar to trash cans, however, they are designed to eliminate odor. If you do not own a diaper disposal container and choose to place the diaper in your trash can, first place the diaper in small trash bag to eliminate odor and potential contact with the diaper. Place the diaper in your outdoor trash can to prevent diaper odor from contaminating your home.

Place the soiled diapers in an outdoor trash can when it is time to empty the disposal system. Place the diapers in a trash can fitted with a lid, to prevent outdoor animals from rummaging through the can and possibly dumping out or tearing up the diaper. Clean the inside of the diaper disposal canister with an all-purpose cleaner each time it is emptied to prevent bacteria and odor from forming.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you cannot remove the waste from the diaper or need to change your baby's diaper in an outdoor environment where a toilet is not available, wrap the soiled diaper in a small bag, and place it in an outdoor trash can. Always wash your hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer after changing a diaper.

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