Diapers Put in Garbage Recycle Packaging With Plastic Bags Do not recycle diaper packaging with hard plastics. The packaging can get caught in machines at the recycling facility. Instead, recycle diaper packaging with plastic bags. Find out more. Empty, Wrap & Dispose Empty excess waste into a toilet, if possible. Then tape the diaper shut and place in a sealable bag, or close the bag that comes with your diaper pail or genie — wrapping up the diaper will contain the smell and keep away flies. Throw the wrapped diaper in the trash. Ways to Reduce Switch to Cloth Diapers Consider switching to cloth diapers. They are more eco-friendly than disposables because you can wash and reuse them. They can also save you money and help your child potty train more quickly, and are free of the dyes and chemicals found in most disposable diapers. Go Reusable If possible, consider switching from disposable diapers to reusable cloth diapers. For more on how to store and clean dirty cloth diapers, check out Healthline’s helpful tips. Have Extra Unused Diapers? New diapers can be donated through the National Diaper Bank Network. Visit their website for more information. Ways to Reuse Donate Unused Diapers If you have unused diapers, or an open package that you don’t want, donate them to charities such as the National Diaper Bank Network. Find out more. Did You Know? Cloth Diapering a Newborn: Getting Started Diapers Are a Heavy Waste Source The average baby will go through 6,000 disposable diapers in its first few years. That’s over 2 tons of diaper waste per child, and 2.4 million tons annually in the U.S. alone. Read more from The Balance. The Life of a Diaper Although disposable diapers are used for a matter of hours, it is estimated that a single diaper can take more than 500 years to decompose in a landfill.