Solid waste open dumping in developing countries is a global concern. To move towards sustainable development, mixed waste should be reduced, and recyclable waste recovered. The aim of the current research was to find appropriate solutions to disposable used baby-diapers recycling in Bolivia since it is a waste fraction widely produced and commonly disposed of in open dumps. Composting of the organic diaper hydrogel was assessed in five trials, adding components available locally: cow dung, activated bacteria, and Californian red earthworms (Eisenia fetida
). It was observed that about 60 days were globally required for biomass decomposition with cow dung, activated bacteria, and earthworms, and more than 70 days for the treatment of the substrate mixed only with manure, while the diaper hydrogel did not degrade without cow dung. This research is the first that attempted to treat disposable used baby diapers with the vermicomposting process. In general, the outcomes of the research are promising: vermicomposting with cow manure can be a recycling option for disposable used baby diapers, introducing appropriate practices toward a circular economy in developing regions.
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