Leslie Charlton cloth diapers

Leslie Charlton, who sells a variety of reusable diapers, likes the idea of diverting paper products from the Regina landfill. (CBC)

Officials in Regina want the city to promote reusable diapers, such as cloth, to reduce the number of disposable diapers that go to the landfill.

The city's public works committee came up with the recommendation Thursday, noting Regina could become the first city in Western Canada to encourage the use of reusable diapers.

"Our city could become a leader in diaper diversion in Western Canada," a report by officials noted.

500 years needed to decompose disposable diapers

According to the city, diapers are in the top three list of items that are hardest on a landfill.

"With the exception of newspapers and beverage/food containers, disposable diapers are the single consumer product that contributes the most to the solid waste stream and can take up to 500 years to decompose," the city claims.

"In addition, disposable diapers entering the landfill that contain untreated human waste could cause effluent to leach into the groundwater and contaminate water resources."

The idea of promoting cloth diapers was embraced by businesses providing them.

"It'll make the city greener for sure," Leslie Charlton, who sells cloth diapers, told CBC News Thursday.

Charlton added she was impressed Regina would adopt such a position.

"To be honest I didn't think Regina was that progressive," Charlton said. "Maybe we're taking a new turn with the move towards recycling and I think that it's great."

According to Charlton, cloth diapers are better designed for the job they perform, and cost less — over time — compared to disposable products.

The public works committee says promoting cloth over paper would go a long way to the city achieving its goal of reducing residential waste at the landfill by 40 per cent by 2015.

The committee said the city should launch an education campaign to promote diaper diversion.

They estimated the campaign could be mounted for less than $500 by adding information on the city's website and printing handout information for distribution at city events.

The committee's recommendation must be considered and approved by city council for the idea to be implemented.

With files from CBC's Adam Hunter