TreeDiaper study underway in Peoria

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(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

For 9-month-old Gia Ballestero, diapers have an obvious use.

"To hold their pee and poop," said Gina Diaz.

"Then they go in the trash," said Gabriel Ballestero.

When revealed to the Peoria family that environmentalists were putting diapers on trees, they were a bit puzzled.

"Searching for an explanation," said Ballestero.

"This might be a way that we can save water, and not just for the city, but for residential use as well," said Bob Hollander, environmental resources manager with the City of Peoria.

According Hollander the TreeDiaper project launched in fall 2016. The goal is to conserve a scarce desert resources while planting new trees to ease some of the worst urban heat island effects in the country.

"Trees provide shade, and shade keeps areas cooler, but we also want to be able to do that in a way that saves water," said Hollander.

The diapers are made from recycled diapers, hence the name, and are currently being tested on eight trees at the City Hall campus. 

"It absorbs the water, and then releases that water to the soil as the soil dries, rather than having to constantly apply irrigation water," said Hollander.

They also slow down the evaporation process after it rains. Hollander believes the tree diapers are incredibly cost-effective. 

"The TreeDiaper is an advanced plant hydration system. It is the first and only landscaping irrigation product to combine the functions of slow release irrigation, automatic recharging with natural precipitation, weed control, and protection against extreme weather conditions (winter and summer) into one low-cost package," according to

Right now, Peoria is the only city in the nation using the TreeDiaper. The City will study the TreeDiaper project for the next year, and then it will decide whether to expand it further.

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