Nappy recycler Knowaste to find large plant

February 7, 2014 at 12:41 pm

AHP Recycling Giant needs a new site in order to keep up with the demand.

Knowaste, the world’s first nappy recycling company, is looking for a larger UK site to complete its recycling treatment of absorbent hygiene products (AHP). Having opened the first AHP recycling facility in the UK in September 2011, the market demand has increased so radically that a new location is needed to supply the service adequately. Since the plant’s opening, Knowaste’s statistics show that the plant has recycled over 77 million nappies.

The process, known as autoclave technology, seeks to separate the plastics and fibres from the human waste. This ensures that 100% of the AHP can be recycled into new materials. Often these materials are used for extrusion products, additives to concrete productions, and flood defence systems. They’re even sometimes used to create containers which hold nappies themselves.

Recycling AHP has provided local authorities with cost-effective and environmentally-friendly solutions to landfill or incineration. Equally it provides an abundance of reusable materials to assist local businesses and to increase the revenue of local authorities. The success of this in the small area surrounding the plant has led to an increased number of local authorities and hygiene companies following suit, in a bid to reduce their own disposal costs and meet recycling targets.

The issue currently posed for Knowaste is the crucial determination of the new site. As an eco-company, they need to be located near an adequately large source of sustainable energy and water in order to meet the increasing demand for their unique services. Having closed the previous site at the end of last year, the search is reaching a critical point.

As per the demand, not only will Knowaste’s new site be able to cope with larger amounts of AHP waste, it will also incorporate new, state-of-the-art technology to improve their method. The new technology will optimise sterilisation and material separation, creating a more stream-lined process and higher quality end-products.

However, the shut-down of the current plant at West Bromwich has left the field open for alternative AHP recyclers. Envirocomp, a direct competitor of Knowaste, has now opened a plant in Rochester, Kent to do the same job. Envirocomp, however, use a different technique closer to composting, which does not produce the same quantity of reusable goods. Nevertheless, with Knowaste closed, Envirocomp has had the opportunity to poach customers.

Despite this, Paul Richardson, director of business development at Knowaste, is not perturbed, saying: “I think that competition is always good and we both have our own areas of expertise.”

Focusing on a location situated between Luton and Oxford, Knowaste claims that the new site is the first step towards opening various recycling plants across the country, which will create the healthy competition that Richardson believes will benefit both businesses.

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One response to “Nappy recycler Knowaste to find large plant”

  1. Susan says:

    Would like to get more info on the assistance of recycling baby diapers, I’m a South African and would like to recycle baby diapers that have become an environmental concern.