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Soiled Diapers Composting saving the environment, one dirty diaper at a time

It's a smelly job, but somebody's got to do it

Babies go through an average of eight diapers every day. Since the City of Calgary’s green bin program cannot currently accept disposable diapers, that means it all must go to the landfill.

Kyle MacQuarrie and Mark Arishenkoff, the two dads behind Soiled Diapers, are trying to divert that waste by offering a subscription-based pickup and composting service for disposable diapers in Calgary and the surrounding area.

The idea for a diaper composting service first began as a project for a university course that the two had partnered on, which is also how Mark and Kyle met. “We wanted our project to focus on the emerging green movement,” Kyle recalls. “One day, Mark came to me with the idea to compost diapers. I must have looked at him like he had three eyes.”

“It just seemed revolutionary.”

Their professor encouraged them to take the project to market, and a year later Mark and Kyle officially launched Soiled Diapers Composting. “It’s been growing ever since,” Kyle says.

As of November 12, Soiled Diapers Composting has partnered with the Townsite of Redwood Meadows to collect diapers from its population of 1,000 residents.

Soiled Diapers Composting utilizes two shipping containers to store its collection of used nappies, which then get placed in industrial-sized composting machines that shred and mulch the diapers together with other organic materials. The compost is currently undergoing rigorous testing over the next year, and Mark says he hopes to see approval for everything from road rehabilitation to organic farms and green roofing.

With a gaggle of eight kids between their families, Mark and Kyle were already aware of the sheer amount of diapers one can produce, and the research they conducted made the scale of the issue painfully clear. Approximately 110 million diapers end up in Calgary landfills each year, according to Mark.

In addition to handling dirty diapers, Soiled Diapers Composting regularly provides new diapers, both to clients using the Full-Service model, and to the Calgary Food Bank’s Bare Bottoms Diaper Drive, picking up any too-small diapers from their clients’ homes.

According to the Calgary Food Bank, one in five babies in Calgary go without clean diapers. “We created this business to cater to the needs of a child,” Mark explains. “No child should be without clean diapers.”

The pair love seeing the relief in the eyes of the parents as they arrive to cart away another collection of diapers. They also hope to bring Soiled Diapers Composting’s services to commercial properties, ensuring that even more diapers won’t go to waste – pun intended.

TAKE ACTION:

  1. Click here to learn more about Soiled Diapers Composting’s pickup or delivery offerings.
  2. Learn more about their composting process here.
  3. Check out this CBC article on Soiled Diapers Composting’s partnership with Redwood Meadows.
  4. Are you interested in having Soiled Diapers Composting serve your commercial property? Email Mark and Kyle today.
  5. Connect with Soiled Diapers Composting on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
  6. Check out Soiled Diapers Composting’s Sustainability Profile on the REAP website.