Knowaste, a nappy waste recycling specialist, has submitted plans to develop the UK’s largest Absorbent Hygiene Product (AHP) recycling facility in Hayes, West London.
Originally hailing from North America, the company said that it has been researching and developing technology to recycle AHPs including nappies, incontinent pads and feminine hygiene products since the 1990s.
Knowaste – claimed to be the UK’s first company to recycle AHPs - added that is looking to invest around £14 million in the development of its new site, Hayes 180, which is planned to launch in early 2017.
According to the company its system uses a bespoke recycling technology to transform AHPs into useful plastics and fibres. The first stage of the process involves shredding the bagged AHPs that are deposited inside the facility.
Once shredded the waste is separated, thermally sterilised and sorted to remove any contaminants. The plastics continue through a granulation and multi washing stage, before being pelletised, bagged and sent off site for reuse.
The fibres are washed, dried and processed for use as a pet litter which is bagged on site for immediate distribution to the retail sector.
The company said that it offers a sustainable disposal option for AHP by creating a market for the products generated by its process, and added that it has already built strategic partnerships with a distributor of pet litter and a manufacturer of plastic bins.
According to Paul Richardson, UK business development director at Knowaste the company is able to recycle over 97% of the AHP product
“Our AHP recycling process is considered to be the most sustainable solution to managing this specific waste, saving up to 70% of carbon dioxide emissions when compared to the usual disposal methods of landfill and incineration,” he said.
If approved, Hayes 180 would be the biggest plant of its kind in the UK and would process at least 36,000 tonnes of AHP waste per annum.
“Hayes 180 is the start of an exciting phase for Knowaste, and the area of West London offers a great foundation for the development of our technology,” said Richardson.
“This is part of a larger programme of major site investment that Knowaste will be rolling out across the UK,” he concluded.
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