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Monmouthshire and Cardiff are the first UK local authorities to recycle domestic AHP waste with Knowaste

As of this month pioneering Welsh councils, Monmouthshire and Cardiff are to be the first in the UK to be sending disposable nappies/diapers, incontinence and feminine hygiene wastes ( aka absorbent hygiene products or AHP) to recycling specialist Knowaste’s facility in West Bromwich in the Midlands as part of a six month trial.

The trial is designed to determine the most efficient ways of handling the AHP material stream and evaluate the level of demand from householders for the service.

If successful it could lead to a contract being tendered for the material stream for the whole of Wales.

The results of the trial will be managed by SE Wales regional waste coordinator at Resource Efficiency Wales, James Kay. Commenting on the trial, Mr Kay said: "This material stream is a substantial part of the household waste stream and this recycling trial has benefits two-fold. It diverts this material from landfill and recovers this material making it available for recycling instead. These are important criteria when considering treatment of household waste.”

Cardiff and Monmouthshire

Currently both Cardiff and Monmouthshire councils are running separate collections of AHP waste from over 2,500 households in a bid to support residents as they move to fortnightly collections of residual waste.

Councillor Bryan Jones, cabinet member for county operations at Monmouthshire, said: "Monmouthshire was always pleased to offer the separate nappy/diaper collection service to the public and now that we can actually recycle them it makes it a double win for everyone. nappies/diapers and similar waste make up about 5% of our waste stream – that’s 2,375 tonnes a year.

"I am pleased that we are working in partnership with Cardiff City Council. Sharing of facilities, transportation and experience is the most sensible thing to do and I am pleased that our recent investment in the Llanfoist recycling centre and transfer station has made this scheme possible.”


Once collected, the nappies/diapers will be transported to Knowaste’s facility by Viridor, which manages the Llanfoist recycling centre in Monmouthshire.

According to Knowaste, the West Bromwich facility, which opened in September 2011, will see 95% of the material input recovered. Knowaste sterilises the material using autoclave technology. The material is then sorted to recover the plastic and fibre material which can be sent to be used in the production of new products.

Roy Brown, chief executive of Knowaste, said: "With the majority of the UK’s 1 million tonnes per annum of absorbent hygiene wastes generated at home, the Cardiff and Monmouthshire recycling trials represent true progress in domestic kerbside collections.
"We already work with the UK’s leading hygiene and washroom companies to recycle their commercial waste - it is with considerable pride that

Knowaste will be receiving waste, for the first time, from local councils and helping them to enhance services, hit recycling targets, improve carbon savings and divert from landfill.”

Published: Thursday March 22nd 2012
By: Bronwen Jameson for James Kay, SE Wales regional waste coordinator at Resource Efficiency Wales


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