It’s been a little while since we passed 5,000 diapers. True to form, we were going through a spat of mud-butt at the time and the 5,000th diaper didn’t dissapoint.
First off, I need to set the record straight. My earlier calculations on the amount of landfill we’d be generating were actually overly conservative! In the last 6 months, we’ve up-sized little D’s diapers and have noticed that (even as disposables) they take quite a bit more room now.
This uptick happened at around 3,000. At that time, we had diverted an approximated 75 cubic feet of waste.
Right now, we are filling 2 hampers of diapers per week (even though the number of diapers has decreased slightly). This has helped us reduce the stink a bit (we close up one of the bags halfway through the week). At 2.5 cu. ft. per pail, we’re running about 5.0 cu. ft. for our 65 weekly cloth diapers. That’s about .08 cu. ft. per cloth diaper(130 cu. in. or 5″ x 5″ x 5″ roughly).
However, a disposable is less bulky and therefore has a smaller waste volume (75 cu. in. / 0.0434 cu. ft. or approx 4.2″x4.2″x4.2″ packed together with the wipes). At 70 diapers per week that’s about 5250 cu. in. or 3.0 cubic feet. This is about what we saw when we temporarily switched to disposables for the week we were in Kauai.
So, the last 2,000 diapers (upsized) occupy disposable-equivalent volue of of 0.0434 cu. ft per diaper. This brings the waste volume for 2,000 diapers to 86.8 cu. ft! You see, even through the number of diapers has gone down, the waste volume is roughly constant (and the stink is exponentially worse).
tl;dr: The Grand Total So Far
After 5,000 diapers we’ve probably diverted 160 cubic feet away from landfill! In rough equivalents, take the bathroom in your house and fill ‘er up with packed-solid diapers. Or raise the floor in your bedroom by a solid foot of stink.