Bay Area Startup Turns Dirty Diapers into Compost

SAN FRANCISCO, CA — Fed up with sending their kids' dirty diapers to the local landfill, three Bay Area families launched a business two years ago aimed at turning soiled diapers into compost for farms, golf courses and plant nurseries.

On Tuesday, the San Francisco Chronicle published a profile of Sunnyvale-based EarthBaby, a compostable diaper service operating in select markets in the Bay Area. According to the company's website, EarthBaby has diverted more than 409,122 pounds of diapers from Bay Area landfills to date.

"I became overwhelmed by the quantity of garbage we were throwing out," co-owner Mark Siminoff told the Chronicle. "I realized I was living the lifestyle of a landfill designer. I knew it should be my job to be the solution, not the problem."

Siminoff, a product designer with two young children, joined forces with two friends to launch the company, whose clients now number nearly 1,000.

EarthBaby sources the compostable diapers from Sweden and composts them at a South Bay composting plant that EarthBaby declined to name in the Chronicle news story. It takes 20 to 22 weeks to break down the dirty diapers into dirt and dry it out.

EarthBaby charges a $29.99 monthly service fee and $11.79 per pack of diapers, which includes a 40-pack for size 1, and up to a 20-pack for size 6, the largest size available for babies weighing more than 35 pounds. EarthBaby delivers fresh diapers and picks up soiled nappies and wipes every week.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Americans send 3.4 million tons of dirty diapers to landfills every year.

EarthBaby services Alameda, Oakland, Berkeley, San Francisco, San Mateo, San Carlos, Redwood City, Atherton, Menlo Park, Palo Alto, East Palo Alto, Los Altos, Mountain View, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, San Jose, Cupertino, Campbell, Los Gatos, Cambrian Park, and Santa Cruz. It plans on expanding into Marin, and eventually beyond the Bay Area.

Image CC licensed by Flickr user ASHCROFT54.