By Nudge Sustainability Reporter Ana Stoddart
Dealing with a load of crap
In a world with rapidly growing urban cities and an increasing global population, Ayumi Matsuzaka (a Japanese artist and social entrepreneur) was quick to spot a rising concern regarding the garbage created by diapers and its environmental impact. Modern societies strongly rely on the use of disposable diapers, however the plastic fabric and materials in them take ages to decompose and its waste treatment has long been neglected. So, Ayumi came up with a new concept the “Diapers Cycle - The Free Fruit Generation” (DYCLE) to help communities cope with the waste management, recycling useful resources whilst bringing multiple benefits to its people. Moreover, DYCLE is an innovative and social role model of an organization that promotes sustainable practices in a Bioeconomy, and this has already led to a ZERI Award 2015.
Transforming our environment
The cycle starts at home, where babies use the entirely biodegradable diapers and then the parents properly dispose them in hermetic plastic bins with activated biochar (avoiding undesirable smell). Later on they are taken to the collection centre. Here, more biodegradable diapers are handed out to the parents, and the biological material in the bins is further treated. The next stage is the fermentation and vermicomposting phase. Given some time and help of many earthworms, it soon becomes terra preta black soil / black humus – a rich organic nutrient for plants and trees. This natural component is fed to the orchards around the city, which will later provide fruit to share with the community and generate an income source to continue funding the project.
A fruitful harvest
Ayumi, who has previously worked in several projects on the subject of nature's cycle of matter and energy in an artistic context, and her multidisciplinary team now work on ways to carry forward the project, scale up and restore productive ecosystems. The official launch of the DYCLE’s operations will be in Berlin next spring 2016, and they are currently establishing the first DYCLE community with over a hundred parents who intend to take part in this revolutionary system.