Business is picking up for last of the diaper services

So the last diaper service in the Twin Cities is closing. Cheek-to-Cheek Diaper Service went out, not with a bang, but a swipe at the young parents of Minnesota. “Minnesotans are not as environmentally conscious as they pretend to be. Cloth is just as easy to use as disposable,” the owner told the Star Tribune.

How many diaper services are left in the state? Two, according to Carmen Barthel, the manager of one of them — the Small Change Diaper Service in La Crescent. “But most of our customers are from Wisconsin.”

Business is picking up for her firm, though. It’s doubled — from 13 in January to 26 now. It’s not enough to make a buck (Cheek-to-Cheek had about 6 times as many customers), but then it’s not really designed to.

The diaper service is part of the Ability Building Center, a program that provides ability training to developmentally disabled adults. It trains 80 people between two sites.

“When we first started, we had high hopes that we were going to have lots of customers, Ms. Barthel told me today, “but it just never worked out as we had hoped.”

  • Jenn Deyo

    Am I to understand that a diaper service thinks of itself as being environmentally friendly? It takes a good deal of energy pick up and drop off diapers in a vehicle, as well as wash them in hot water, and the natural gas to dry them. Not to mention the usually un-environmentally friendly detergents and chlorinated chemicals used by most services. I won’t go into the energy consumed and chemicals used during the bleaching process to make most cloth diapers.

    I consider myself a very environmentally conscious parent. There are now disposable diapers on the market that are biodegradable, made of recycled paper products that are non-chlorinated. I know that this process also leaves a carbon foot print. But it seems pretty common sense if it is better for the environment and your baby.

    I use organic cloth diapers, I wash them in warm, and I air dry them. I know a lot of other parents like me here in Minnesota that do the same. And I’m not even pretending.

    I think perhaps the service didn’t last because it was part of an old dying paradigm.