Portland recycling bins are overflowing with dirty diapers.
Recycling collectors in Portland have reported that they now pick up 120 pounds of dirty diapers a day, whereas they used to find about one a month.
Why the dramatic change in Portland’s disposal habits?
In an effort to increase its residents’ composting and recycling of household waste, the city cut back its trash pick-ups to once every two weeks.
The recycling and composting bins are, on the other hand, still collected weekly.
The city has sent violation letters to people throwing trash in their recycling bins in the past, but is taking the specific problem of dirty diapers seriously.
The head of Far West Fibers, the firm that handles three-quarters of Portland’s curbside recycling, is concerned for his employees. He said, “It's never a good idea to expose your employees to dirty diapers. It's nothing I ever thought I'd have to do, nor do I want to keep doing it."
Not all of the diapers belonged to babies. An estimated 40 percent of those picked up are of the adult variety.