Um . . . is this really such a good idea?

I’m somewhat taken aback to read of a novel use for recycled diapers (a.k.a. ‘nappies’ in England).

Britain uses three billion disposable nappies a year – but now they are set to be turned into roof tiles after a unique recycling plant opened its doors today.

More than a half a million tonnes of waste from disposable nappies is generated in Britain every year going into landfill or incineration.

And despite going green on other issues, families are still buying disposable nappies over traditional old-style washable ones. The average baby uses 6,000 before being potty trained and each one takes around 500 years to decompose.

But now a Canadian company Knowaste is set to recycle 36,000 tonnes of the waste at the first facility of its kind in the UK.

. . .

As well as nappies, feminine hygiene and adult incontinence products will also be recycled.

They will be collected from washrooms, hospitals, nursing facilities and child care nurseries.

Knowaste said that state-of-the-art technology will be used to recycle sterilise and separate the products (known in the industry as AHPs) to recover highly valuable plastic and fibre.

These can then be used for making new products, such as roof tiles or plastic components and fibre-based construction and commercial tubes.

There’s more at the link.

I hope – oh, how I hope! – that they’ve perfected the technology to sterilize, deodorize and sanitize this stuff before using it to make other products. If not . . .

  • Roofs using these tiles will smell like sewers (particularly on hot summer days under a baking sun);
  • Rainwater runoff from them will have to be collected in toilets rather than barrels; and
  • Commercial ‘tubes’ made from the stuff will definitely be in bad odor with their users!

What else can be made from them, d’you think? I suppose it all Depends . . .



  1. In Ireland they already use the soiled nappies for Caravan wheel-chocks.

    They're best after being left lay on the ground at a halting site for about a fortnight. That way, while they harden, they keep the flys away from the soiled knickers hanging off the satellite dish.

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