Storage and disposal of soiled diapers

Since feces and urine in the diapers are likely to contain infectious material, caregivers who change children in child care must be careful about where soiled diapers are placed.

Storing soiled diapers:

  • Store soiled diapers in containers separate from other waste. Fecal material and urine should not be mixed with regular trash and garbage.
  • Where possible, dispose of soiled disposable diapers as biological waste rather than in the local landfill.

Containers for soiled diapers:

  • Use washable, plastic-lined, tightly covered, hands-free operated receptacles with firmly fitting covers (e.g. step cans).
  • Avoid any and all skin contact with urine or feces.  When necessary, cover hands in latex gloves to avoid such contact.
  • Invest in commercial-grade step cans or other types of hands-free containers that:
    • are big enough to hold all the of soiled diapers collected before being taken out to a trash receptacle
    • are tall enough to prevent children from reaching into the receptacle or from falling headfirst into them
    • are designed to prevent the user from contaminating any exterior surfaces of the container or the user when inserting the soiled diaper
  • Place these containers within arm’s reach of diaper-changing tables.
  • Use separate containers for:
    • Disposable diapers
    • Cloth diapers (if used)
    • Soiled clothes and linens
  • All containers should be placed away from where children usually go by themselves.
  • Do not individually bag soiled disposable diapers before placing them in the container; increased handling increases the risk of contamination, and a lidded, plastic-lined container should contain odor.
  • You may individually bag soiled cloth diapers and soiled clothing that are to be sent home with a parent, but if a child is regularly using cloth diapers, it is best to have a separate plastic-lined step can into which you drop the cloth diapers without individually bagging them.

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