Dirty Diaper Recycling Eliminates 110,000 Tons Of GHGs

In 2009, Care2 reported on plans to build the very first disposable diaper recycling plant in Britain. Two years have passed, and it appears that this revolutionary plant is ready to open its doors to the stinky waste of the world.

Built by Canadian-based Knowaste, the West Bromwich, UK facility will use state-of-the-art technology to recycle dirty diapers, feminine hygiene and adult incontinence products.

Statistics show that the average child uses 6,000 to 10,000 diapers before potty training is possible. According to industry data from Franklin Associates and the American Petroleum Institute, keeping up with this demand requires 3.5 billion gallons of oil and 250,000 trees annually in the U.S. alone.

“This first site in West Bromwich represents the beginning of a £25 million overall investment in the UK, that will produce capacity for handling about a fifth of the AHP waste stream – equating to a saving of 110,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions a year,” Roy Brown, chief executive officer of Knowaste told The Press Association.

The Knowaste plant’s primary objective will be to sterilize and separate the materials, recovering plastic and fiber that can be used for roof tiles and other construction products (EL).

Related Reading:

Mushrooms Can Break Down 90% Of Diaper Materials Within 2 Months

Oil Spill Clean Up Gear Recycled As Electric Car Parts

Scotland Launches A First-Of-Its-Kind Approach To Recycling

Image Credit: Flickr - IngaMun


Jane Warren
Jane Warren4 years ago

thnx for this - the article AND the comments

Mara C.
Past Member 4 years ago

Sound almost too good to be true!

Loi M.
Loi M.5 years ago

Great !!!

Tila Garcia
Tila Garcia5 years ago

Recycling is laudable. What to recycling and how effectively it's done requires extensive serious
considerations. Materials which are for external use only may not require as critical studies as recycling matters which are ingested such as water for drinking or "recycling oil from sewage for use in cooking again"! (from CCTV news). I believe recycling calls for more deliberation; critical studies, to be sure that it's all worth the trouble, safe and beneficial to all and the world as a whole.

Dianne Robertson
Dianne Robertson5 years ago


April Thompson
April Thompson5 years ago


Laure H.
Laure H.5 years ago

Whoops, I forgot the link to the composter....


Laure H.
Laure H.5 years ago

I'm glad for this advance in recycling - but we'd be better off focusing on more sustainable ways to handle elimination waste - whether baby's or ours.

Want to hygienically turn poop into compost, but don't want the complex process of properly composting it outside for a year? See video near top right of page....these suckers compost up to 140F, and they used to market them as pet poo composters. I asked what the difference was between the pet poo one and the food composter, and they said "nothing." They just used the one that was safe for outdoors for the poo, because of the odor.

Or try making a loveable Loo....

The sawdust keeps it smelling nice, as one camping blogger found....

Maybe Loveable Loo 3 will be a squat version......let's all request one from the Loveable Loo manufacturer....

Laure H.
Laure H.5 years ago

As for incontinence and adult diapers - there would be so much less incontinence if we taught people to SQUAT for both elimination and childbirth. Let's prevent adult-onset incontinence by re-learning the squat!

I love this new movie called "How to Do The Asian Squat," on youtube:
Under 5 minutes, in a faux-fifties-documentary style, featuring "cool" squatters.

Christine Kent, R.N. has written a book called "Saving the Whole Woman," a treatise on the relationship between western-society posture and incontinence/pelvic organ prolapse (a silent epidemic, ladies) - and her suggestions for preventing and even improving/correcting these problems with lifestyle and posture adjustments. Google Christine Kent, or Saving the Whole Woman. She also explains why traditional Kegels don't work well.

These common sense approaches can dramatically decrease not only land-fill waste, but frustrated lives and the medical expenses of untried, unproven and ultimately unsuccessful surgeries (mutilations) that the medical establishment push onto women who have these problems.

P.S. - Some people use the Welles Step to partially mimic a squat, or Nature's Platform (or bricks and boards) to allow them to do proper squats over a toilet safely and easily.

Laure H.
Laure H.5 years ago

@ Lilithe - what you said bears repeating - cloth pads and diva/moon cups should be talked up as better options than dependence on commercial feminine hygiene products, even organic ones. Bamboo terry cloth is an awesome rag material, it inhibits odors naturally.