Knowaste, a developer of recycling technologies for nappies and personal care products, has revealed plans for the UK’s first nappy recycling plant, in Tyseley.
Proposals for a 42,000 sq ft plant at the former Atlas Works on Redfern Rd will go on public display in the international suite at Birmingham City FC 10am – 8pm. Members of the development team will be on hand.
Recycled plastic from nappies is used to make roof tiles while non-recyclable waste is used to generate electricity.
Knowaste president and CEO Roy Brown said: “Birmingham is recognised as one of the UK’s leading cities in terms of commitment to recycling and sustainable technologies. We’re excited by the prospect of becoming part of this community and I look forward to meeting people, Tyseley residents in particular, who would like to find out more.”
The plant will be capable of recycling 30,000 tonnes of Birmingham’s nappies a year, significantly reducing the amount of municipal waste sent to the region’s shrinking available landfill, helping the local authority to meet landfill diversion targets.
The new facility, which will replace derelict industrial buildings, will be based on Knowaste’s successful models in other countries which have recycled over 200,000 tonnes of nappies.
Bedliners and incontinence products will also be recycled at the plant.
If its planning application is successful Knowaste hopes the plant will be operational in 2009.
The £6 million plant is set to create around 15 new jobs and could potentially generate turnover of around £50?million for its owner.
Knowaste has signed an agreement with Birmingham-based collection company, Alpha Wastecare (Midlands) to collect the used items from hospitals and nursing homes in the city.
It is thought the contract could be worth £45 million to Alpha over the 10-year agreement period.
Once the nappies have been collected they will be delivered to the plant where the reprocessing begins.
The nappies are first washed and then the material is mechanically separated into individual components so the super absorbent polymers, wood pulp and plastic can be recycled.
The reclaimed components comprise pulp fibres and plastic components which are then shipped to a company in Belgium where they are used to manufacture cladding, roof tiles and guttering.
The plant would be self-sustaining as all the non-recyclable waste is converted into green energy to power the facility.
Currently around 800,000 tonnes of used nappies finds its way into landfill in the UK – enough to fill Wembley Stadium eight times.
The Birmingham plant is seen as a trial facility and if successful then its model will be copied in other parts of the country.
Knowaste, which has 18 years’ experience in the sector and has operated similar plants in the Netherlands and Canada, is planning to invest around £20 million in recycling facilities across the UK over the next five years.