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11 Aug, Thursday
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Montreal Families

Cities offer grants for reusable diapers

Cloth diapers products are becoming increasingly popular.  The old and less-than-comfortable “rubber pants” have been replaced with ones that are easy to use and comfortable to wear. They are also easy to wash, quick to dry, and come in many cute designs. Online and in baby stores, manufacturers offer a range of natural fibres including organic cotton, hemp, or bamboo. Parents can choose between all-in-one, prefolds, pocket, and even hybrid models.

Think global, act local

Cloth diapering can save families hundreds of dollars annually while reducing waste. It’s estimated that buying disposables for 2.5 years can cost up to $3,000. A one-time expense of cloth diapering can range between $300-$700 depending on the type of system. Pass them down to a new sibling and you’ll have saved even more.

Environmentally, disposable diapers are the third-largest single consumer item in landfills and can take up to 500 years to degrade, according to a 2014 study called Prospects of Diaper Disposal and its Environmental Impacts.

According to the city of Pointe-Claire, in a household with a child in diapers, disposables make up 50 per cent of household waste and one baby in disposables produces a tonne of trash every year.

An influx of grant programs

It’s not only parents who have caught on to the benefits of using cloth diapers. Local municipalities — who have to pay per tonne for the amount of waste sent to landfills — are offering grants to encourage residents to reduce their use of throwaway products.

Pointe-Claire is among the cities offering a grant for washable diapers, and goes even further by including washable swim diapers, waterproof carrying bags, fabric to make diapers, incontinence products, and sustainable hygiene products. “The initiative adds to Pointe-Claire’s commitment to the environment and gives residents an incentive to keep waste out of dumps while benefiting from their actions by taking steps to a healthier environment and wallet,” said Pointe-Claire City Councillor Tara Stainforth.

A mom of two, Stainforth committed to using reusable products herself when she learned about the amount of waste created by diapers, hygiene, and incontinence products. “Today we have so many options that make it quite easy to go this route, from washing services that will pick up from your home to Velcro closures and all-in-one diapers,” she said. “My kids’ skin had fewer reactions due to the lack of perfume and other chemical products and it was very manageable.”

Pointe-Claire offers a grant of up to $200 per child for washable diapers and some diapering accessories, and up to $100 per person for reusable menstrual, bedwetting, and incontinence products. Even second-hand purchases (yes, you can sterilize them) may be eligible by filling out a transaction declaration between seller and buyer. “Providing residents with a grant for this initiative was an easy decision, with benefits all around,“  Stainforth said.

For more information about the program, visit pointe-claire.ca/en/hygiene-products

Grants near you

If you are lucky enough to live within one of these cities or boroughs, you may be able to receive money back on your cloth diaper investment or reusable hygiene products. Before applying, check that you are eligible and have the required paperwork as each municipality has varied criteria. Visit the links for specifics on rebates and application forms.

The financial assistance program from the City of Beauharnois is part of the green shift “La grande reduction” initiated by the municipality. The program provides a maximum subsidy of $150 per child, until potty training. ville.beauharnois.qc.ca

Brossard invites residents to check this spring to see if its program is renewed for 2022. The city offers residents a 50 per cent rebate for the purchase of reusable diapers, up to a maximum of $100 for the ones bought from a local business, or $75 for ones purchased from outside of Brossard. brossard.ca

Dorval offers a financial aid program that promotes the purchase or rental of reusable sanitary products (including diapers, swim diapers, products for bedwetting, menstrual cups, incontinence protection products, and more) while also supporting Quebec-based businesses.  ville.dorval.qc.ca

Laval gives families a grant of up to $150 per child for the purchase of a set of washable cloth diapers. Low-income families may be eligible to receive a set of 20 cloth diapers. laval.ca

Residents of the 11 municipalities that make up the MRC de Roussillon (including Candiac, Châteauguay, Sainte-Catherine, and more) may be eligible for a reimbursement of the value of their cloth diaper purchase up to a maximum of $150. roussillon.ca

Notre-Dame-de-l’Île-Perrot will reimburse families up to a maximum of $200 for the purchase of reusable diapers. ndip.org

Pincourt families can benefit from a $100 subsidy when they buy (or rent) 15 or more washable diapers. villepincourt.qc.ca

The city of Saint-Lazare will give a maximum reimbursement of $100 per child under 12 months of age with a minimum purchase of 20 new washable diapers. ville.saint-lazare.qc.ca

And the City of Vaudreuil-Dorion reimburses 50 per cent of the cost of buying or renting washable diapers, including swim diapers, flat diapers, diaper covers, and inserts, up to a maximum of $100 per child and per residence. ville.vaudreuil-dorion.qc.ca

Find your borough

Some of Montreal’s 19 boroughs offer grant programs to encourage eco-responsibility. To see if your borough offers grants to purchase sustainable menstrual products, such as washable underwear, menstrual cups, and sanitary napkins, visit montreal.ca/en/how-to/apply-grant-to-get-sustainable-feminine-hygiene-products.

Some boroughs also encourage the use of washable hygiene products — including items like underwear for urinary leakage — by offering grants that offset their cost. Find out if your borough is on the list here montreal.ca/en/how-to/apply-grant-to-get-sustainable-hygiene-products.

And to search which boroughs provide subsidies for the use of cloth diapers or diaper rental services, visit montreal.ca/en/how-to/apply-grant-to-get-cloth-diapers-baby.

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