Wet Disposable Diapers - Can They be Composted?

Compost This?

Compost This?

Sounds disgusting, but would the inside of wet diapers be compostable? Urine + cellulose.

Good Question

That's an interesting question. The thing to know is that the inside of those diapers is only partly cellulose. The other part is SAP, also known as super absorbent polymer.

SAP is made from petroleum. This doesn't absolutely mean it's not biodegradable as petroleum is essentially biodegradable eventually. In fact you can buy SAP crystals to use to hold water in the soil.

The urine is definitely biodegradable and fine in the compost. The fluffy cellulose layer is also biodegradable. It would be considered a brown or high carbon source material.

The SAP crystals are another factor. They will probably break down and they do hold water in the soil which might be a good thing. I think however that composting all your wet diapers would overload your backyard compost pretty quickly and those SAP crystals can grow pretty darn big. You could end up with a big wet monster over flowing out of your compost.

The plastic outer layer is not compostable.This article has good info on the innards of those diapers.

Thanks for your question.


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