I would like a little clarification about the new 'diaper service' that is going to be implemented with the city's plans to move to a bi-weekly garbage pick-up (which I applaud). As a person who has chosen to use cloth diapers with all four of our children, I certainly hope that I am not going to end up covering the cost of special treatment for those families who make the decision to use disposable diapers. If they are going to gripe and moan about the mess they create, they had better be ready to pay for it! Are they paying extra fees to have their waste picked up?
I have contacted the city on *numerous* occassions to suggest a cloth diaper subsidy for families who make use cloth diapers. This kind of subsidy is commonplace in the UK, and it has been instituted in many municipalities across Quebec (most recently in Montreal). The city of Ottawa pays approximately $94/tonne to haul trash to the dump; When parents make the decision to cloth diaper a child, they are diverting approximately one ton of waste from our landfills. Furthermore, they can reuse the same set of cloth diapers with future children, diverting even more waste from our landfills. It stands to reason that if people are saving the city money with their responsible decision to use cloth diapers, the city should compensate them for their efforts.
If people use cloth diapers, they do not have to worry about the stink of having diapers sit in the trash for two weeks (and quite frankly, the contents of disposable diapers are supposed to be emptied into the toilet before they are tossed into the trash anyhow, I don't even see how 'stink' should be a concern if ppl are using disposable diapers in the correct manner). If you want to encourage positive change, why not consider implementing a cloth diaper subsidy that will help parents with the startup costs of cloth diapers? There are many (many!) businesses in Ottawa that sell cloth diapers, accessibility is not a concern, but ppl are often intimidated by the upfront costs, and fear of the unknown.
We are hosting an event on April 23rd that will see 35+ parents changing their babies cloth diapers at once, the "Great Diaper Change" is happening throughout the world at 12pm EST in an effort to establish a new Guinness World Record. I would love for any Ottawa city councillors who are concerned about disposable diapers and bi-weekly pickup to come out and join us, you can talk to families who use cloth diapers, and you can learn about what's involved in using cloth diapers (aside from the fact they are washable, they are just as easy to use as disposable diapers).
I certainly hope someone takes the time to get back to me about this. I have been rather disappointed in the limited responses I have ever received when I've tried to contact Ottawa councillors about this matter. Perhaps now that it's election time again, you'll have my attention. I know I won't be the only parent annoyed that I have to pay for other parents who don't consider the environmental effect of single-use diapers.