Nappy recycling firm seeking new site as part of UK expansion strategy
Knowaste, which launched the first recycling facility in the UK for absorbent hygiene products (AHP) in 2011, is looking for a new larger site which can meet market demand.
The establishment of the new facility will represent the first stage in the company’s strategy to develop a number of sites across the UK.
Knowaste is focusing its attention on a location between Oxford, Luton and London, which is capable of handling more than 36,000 tonnes of waste and has access to sustainable heat, power and water sources. High on its agenda are sites in close proximity to existing Energy from Waste, Biomass, Anaerobic Digestion or water treatment facilities.
It is estimated that one million tonnes of AHP waste is generated in the UK every year and Knowaste’s process offers facilities management and hygiene companies, as well as local authorities a speedier, more environmentally-friendly and more cost effective solution to managing such waste than landfill, incineration or small scale composting.
A growing number of local authorities and hygiene companies are now separating AHP as disposal costs continue to rise and they seek to meet waste reduction, elimination and recycling targets.
Knowaste has recycled more than 77 million nappies since it opened its first plant in the West Midlands two years ago. Its process isolates the plastics and fibres from the AHP products, separating them from human waste so 100% of the nappy or incontinence pad can be used to create an additive for concrete production, extrusion products, plastic sheets, flood defence systems and even containers for used disposable nappies.
Paul Richardson, Business Development Director at Knowaste, said, "The location of the new facility is critical. We want to find an optimal site close to sources of sustainable heat, power and water that is also optimally located for us to meet the demands of local authorities and hygiene companies.”
The site will include new recycling technologies, which will make the processes for sterilisation, screening and materials separation more efficient. It will also comprise new components including washing, separation and drying processes, as well as a plastic pelletiser, which will enable Knowaste to access the high potential and quality markets that it has identified for recycled outputs.
Last year, Knowaste closed its initial site in the West Midlands. Although the site allowed Knowaste to prove and further develop its pioneering technology, it did not provide adequate capacity to maximise the market opportunities that the company has identified for the materials it generates from the recycling process.