Queenstown Lakes District Council is subsidising reusable cloth nappies for tots in a bid to ease pressure on the landfill.
The council plans to heavily discount packs of six cloth nappies for Wakatipu parents who will only have to pay $10. The packs normally retail for $140 each.
Parents wanting to join the trial need to go to the council offices with a birth certificate for their child. Expectant mothers in their third trimester can also qualify for a starter pack.
Council solid waste manager Stefan Borowy says he’s secured $10,500 in the council’s annual plan for the initiative.
“The idea is for mothers to try them out and then encourage them to buy full packs off local suppliers.”
Disposable nappies, which take 500 years to break down, make up about eight tonnes of the waste going into the Wakatipu’s Victoria Flat’s landfill each week.
“The scheme has been set up to divert as much of this waste from the landfill as possible,” Borowy says.
Deputy mayor Lyal Cocks says the council is happy to support it.
“It’s a great initiative, not only for the users but for the environment. It’s amazing how quickly it adds up.”
Queenstown mother Catkin Bartlett says she’s been using cloth nappies for three years and doesn’t mind the extra bit of washing.
“They’re really good. It’s only after three years that they’re just starting to wear out.”
Bartlett says she still uses some disposables for convenience when going away from home, rather than carry wet nappies around.
Borowy estimates using cloth nappies can save a parent up to $5000 over two and a half years.
Council officially launches the nappy plan on November 1 at Queenstown Resort College’s Common Room cafe.