Ministry to test disposing of paper diapers into Japan’s sewage system in bid to help mothers, caregivers


The infrastructure ministry on Tuesday decided to start testing a system that will allow paper diapers to be disposed of through the sewer system in a bid to help alleviate one of the burdens of child and elderly care, officials said.

A ministry panel presented ideas for creating such a system based on garbage disposal machines that crush food waste into smaller pieces so the waste can make its way through the sewers. The plan is for the envisaged system to be up and running in fiscal 2022 or later.

Until then, the ministry will conduct demonstration tests to assess the impact of diaper waste on sewage facilities.

The idea of disposing of diapers into the sewage system was proposed in a report compiled last December by a study group discussing housing and sewage systems for the future from the perspective of women.

The group’s report also said that by removing some of the burdens faced by caregivers, the proposed system might enable more elderly people to be cared for in their own homes.