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Recycling Diapers With Oyster Mushrooms

May 26th, 2011 · 1 Comment

Oyster Mushrooms

Disposable diapers are among the nastiest consumer products out there – they take something like 500 years to fully break down once deposited in landfills. In the United States, about 27.4 billion diapers are used every year translating to 3.4 million tons of nappies being dumped in our landfills annually. How do you get rid of this big pile of mess?

Some countries in Europe, like Germany and the U.K., have already started operating commercial scale diaper recycling plants to address this problem. Turns out the solution may be simpler, easier to implement, and much more environmentally-friendly.

Dr. Alethia Vázquez-Morillas of the Autonomous Metropolitan University in Mexico City has discovered that oyster mushrooms can easily break down 90 percent of the material in diapers in two months and completely break them down in four months.

Oysters mushrooms thrive on dead trees and other plant material in the wild and have enzymes that break down cellulose, the very material that make diapers so hard to biodegrade. Grown on soiled diapers, the mushrooms can easily get rid of the materials in a few months time.

Oyster mushrooms, by the way, are considered as a culinary delicacy. In this case, however, you might want to sample the chicken soup, instead.

via The Economist
Photo: Daniel J. Layton

Tags: Recycling

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 sezai // Jun 14, 2011 at 12:51 am

    I would like to improve the recovery of waste is a lot of time learning, I want to import live in Turkey, a very big goals!