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Nappy recycler reassures councils

Specialist recycling company Knowaste has insisted its proposed new absorbent hygiene product (AHP) facility will be commercially sustainable, in response to local authority concerns.

Canada-based Knowaste says the facility in Hayes, west London, will be operational in early 2017 and capable of processing 36,000 tonnes of AHP waste a year if approved.

It said it is in conversations with some authorities regarding seven- to 10-year contracts.

But Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee chair Andrew Bird had told MRW he expected councils to want reassurance that “the operation is sustainable for years to come”.

In 2013, Knowaste abandoned an AHP facility it set up in West Bromwich, leaving a number of councils in disarray over their nappy recycling schemes.

Now, in a statement, the company says that, during the past two years, it has “worked tirelessly to ensure” that all aspects of its business model were in place for a commercially viable facility.

“We have analysed data from our West Bromwich facility, revised Knowaste technology, reviewed markets and investigated funding opportunities,” it said.

“As a result of this, we plan to invest £14m in the development of our new site, Hayes 180. This is a substantial investment for us, which highlights our commitment to provide a sustainable disposal solution for AHPs.”

It said it welcomes support from councillors for its Hayes 180 plant, and aims to open seven sites across the UK within the next five years.

“We want to work with local authorities and commercial partners in the area, to secure long-term contracts and help them to meet ambitious recycling targets.

“Knowaste will do anything in its power to help alleviate any concern, and if authorities, businesses or residents would like to know more about our plans, we welcome any questions.”


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