Calculating your AHP waste arisings will probably require some further measurement. Waste data flow returns and compositional analysis can provide useful data on sanitary waste in the event that this level of detail has been requested of the research team conducting the analysis.
In order to estimate how much AHP you may have in your residual waste stream, product usage trends, where available, may provide some useful insight.
Disposable diapers are used by a large proportion, but not 100%, of households with infant children. We believe that alternatives, such as washable diapers, are used by about 10% of the population but this can vary by region.
• A child uses, on average, 4.6 diapers per day or around 33 per week( source EDANA)
• Environment Agency estimates weight of average used diaper at 230gms.
• We can estimate that 6 kgs of disposable diaper waste is generated each week per child
Knowing that EDANA, the trade body representing the non-wovens industry, calculates that children are in diapers for 30 months on average and with population data, the average weekly diaper waste arisings can be assessed.
Incontinence pads and pants
There is scant data available to understand the prevalance of incontinence sufferers in the community and the severity of their condition.
Current evidence, gathered for the Fourth International Consultation on Incontinence, regarding urinary incontinence indicate that between 25-45% of adult women are affected and around half as many men. Pregnancy, childbirth, diabetes and increased body mass index are associated with an increased risk of urinary incontinence.
The Continence Foundation of Australia report that 70% fewer people experience some degree of faecel incontinence compared to urinary incontinence.
Knowaste’s work with the waste from the nursing home sector and logistics companies who specialise in this waste, have identified that the average weight of adult incontinence products are typically 60% heavier than an average infant product, weighing c. 320gms per unit. But this product stream, coming typically from an over 65’s age group, represents a small fraction of total incontinence use among the community–dwelling population.
Collection trials and further analysis of incontinence waste from ‘in community use’ need to be undertaken to assess the arisings of incontinence products waste. And indeed, the sensitivity of the condition requires discretion in the provision of collection infrastructure.
Typically, Knowaste receive feminine hygiene pads and tampons from washroom waste. The average weight of a feminine hygiene product when used is 35gms. As a proportion of the waste treated at Knowaste, feminine hygiene represents a small fraction. It is possible that some feminine hygiene waste may be retrieved from homes where it is coincidental with diaper or incontinence waste.