Copenhagen tests diaper waste collection scheme

Copenhagen pilots a new collection scheme for diaper waste during Autumn 2022.

Closeup photo of dad changing his baby's diaper
Photo: Felipe Salgado

More than 46 million diapers are used annually in the City of Copenhagen. This generates approximately 10.000 tonnes of waste that is currently converted to energy and heat. As a result, a significant amount of raw materials (i.e. plastics, fibres) and nutrients are lost.

In its Waste and Resource Management Plan, Copenhagen has a goal of collecting and recycling 2.500 tons of diaper waste annually by 2024. Therefore, the process of establishing a new collection and recycling scheme has been set in motion.

As a first step, the City of Copenhagen conducts a large-scale sorting and collection pilot for used nappies. The pilot will run from September to December 2022. It includes 11 apartment buildings in Copenhagen and 4 kindergartens.

Among others, the pilot will provide the City of Copenhagen with valuable insights and knowledge regarding:

  • Quantities and qualities of collected material
  • Types of collection bins
  • Work environment for waste collectors
  • Collection routes

The pilot includes a manual sorting test performed by the company ECONET to obtain detailed information about the level and types of wrongly sorted materials in the used diaper waste stream.

The pilot collection scheme for conventional diapers is supplemented by a separate pilot on compostable diapers in selected kindergartens, which is expected to be launched in October or November 2022.

Copenhagen will publish results from the tests on Circular Copenhagen’s web in the beginning of 2023, incl. visual documentation of collected materials.

The aim of the pilot is to generate sufficient information to develop a tender for a diaper recycling solution in 2023.

Do you have specific questions or just wish to know more about the collection pilot, please contact us.