February 20, 2009

Britain to get diaper recycling plant

The Birmingham City Council in England has approved plans for the first British recycling center for used diapers.

The plant, the first of five planned for Britain by Canadian firm Knowaste, is expected to have the capacity to turn 36,000 tons of soiled baby and adult diapers into roof tiles each year, The Times of London reported Friday.

City Council planners said they approved the project for its environmental benefits and the 22 permanent jobs it is expected to create.

Knowaste executives said they hope the plant will enter its second phase, which will allow it to extract methane from the diapers to generate energy, by the close of 2011, the newspaper said.

Officials with the company, which operates plants in Canada and the Netherlands, said they hope to reduce the amount of trash being sent to British landfills by 4 percent.

This stuff doesn't biodegrade, Roy Brown, chief executive of Knowaste, told The Times. It is going to be there for 50 or 100 years from now. These are valuable materials that should be reclaimed. Other than our process there's very little you can do with it.