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Birmingham to get first nappy processing facility

Waste management firm Knowaste has announced that it will open its first nappy processing facility in Birmingham later this year.

The company signed a contract with Birmingham-based Alpha Waste Care which will collect nappies from nursing homes and hospitals and deliver them to the plant.

Knowaste chief executive Roy Brown said that the plant will process 30,000 tonnes of nappy waste per year. Brown said that 98% of disposable nappy or incontinence pads could be removed from the waste stream. According to Knowaste, the outer coating materials of nappies are made from mixed plastics.

Brown said: When the nappy is received by us we use a gasification process to shred the material, pulper it, separate the plastics and de-water the slurry. We then scoop up all the plastic and the recycled material is then used to make plastic roofing. The slurry that is left is then used for energy to power the rest of our plant.

Knowaste hopes to expand its projects in the UK and is planning to build more facilities over the next five years. Brown is in talks with local councils and is trying to arrange householder nappy collections to tackle the estimated three billion nappies that are thrown away in the UK each year.

Image: Knowaste chief executive Roy Brown

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