First nappy recycling centre due to open in Birmingham

February 10, 2009 at 1:39 pm

A nappy recycling plant is being proposed in Birmingham in response to concerned parents who don’t like seeing so many disposable nappies going to landfill. The company, Knowaste, already has plants in Canada and Holland and will be leading the project.

Research conducted found that 95% of respondents to an online survey would welcome this development which would enable 13% of nappy waste to be recycled. Frequent attempts have been made by the government to encourage people to use re-usable nappies to reduce the waste. The Chief Executive of Knowaste, Roy Brown, thinks this is the wrong approach: “Rather than trying to change people’s behaviour, we should try to find a solution to using disposable nappies”.

Dave Jelley has been appointed as general manager of the site and will spend time building links with stakeholders and ensuring operations run smoothly once the plant opens. It is estimated that 30,000 tonnes of nappies could be recycled each year in a 42,000 sq foot space presuming the planning application is successful.

It is estimated that nappies make up 6% of household waste so this type of project should significantly reduce the amount of waste going to landfill each year. This will help local authorities who are struggling to keep to landfill targets.

Incontinence pads and bed liners will also be recycled in the same place to make plastic cladding, roof tiles and other products. Plans are already in the pipeline for sites in London, Manchester and Newcastle in the next five years and Knowaste are hoping the government will lend its support to ensure the project will be developed to its full potential.

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