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West Cheshire to pioneer England's first nappy recycling service

Trailblazing service could be rolled out accross Borough by the end of this year

21 March 2012

Cheshire West and Chester Council are set to become the first local authority in England to offer residents a dedicated weekly nappy recycling service.

The trailblazing ‘Nappy-cycle’ service has been made possible thanks to new technology bringing nappy recycling to the UK for the first time.

A free weekly subscription service will initially run as a six-month pilot in the Vale Royal area – and it is hoped it will roll out across West Cheshire by the end of the year, providing funding is available.

The pioneering scheme is intended be delivered in partnership with May Gurney, the serviced provider appointed to deliver the Borough’s new recycling and waste collection service from April.

Councillor Lynn Riley, Executive Member for Community and Environment, said: “Disposable nappies are incredibly damaging to our environment.

“In our Borough alone, almost 5,000 tonnes of nappies go to landfill every year. Once there they can take up to 500 years to decompose.

“Now – for the first time – Cheshire West and Chester Council is to tackle the so-called ‘nappy mountain’ by taking advantage of cutting-edge recycling technology. The new trial service will allow us to recycle over 25 tonnes of nappies every week.”

“It is enormously exciting that the people of West Cheshire will be the trailblazers for this service, which reflects this authority’s commitment to improving recycling rates and reducing the amount we send to landfill.

“I am sure our pioneering scheme will be watched with interest by local authorities across the country keen to follow our lead.”

Councillor Riley added: “The Nappy-cycle service will complement our real nappy campaign to promote the use of washable cotton nappies.

“Parents in West Cheshire now have real choice in how they can reduce their nappy waste.”

Collected nappies will be bulked up and transported to the UK’s first nappy recycling facility, Knowaste in West Bromwich, which opened last year.

Roy Brown CEO Knowaste said “With the majority of the UK’s 1 million tonnes per annum of absorbent hygiene wastes generated at home, the West Cheshire weekly nappy recycling trial is heralding a new era in kerbside recycling and convenience for families”

“Knowaste specialises in recycling absorbent hygiene products and recovering the highly valuable plastics and fibres for re use in new plastic product and fibre tubing and board.
“We already work with the UK’s leading hygiene and washroom companies to recycle their commercial absorbent hygiene waste.

“Recycling domestic nappy waste has long been seen as a real challenge, Knowaste are looking forward to working with Cheshire West and Chester Council to help them deliver this innovative new service which also delivers on carbon reduction.”

Some 56,000 households in the pilot area will be invited to subscribe to the free Nappy-cycle service so collections can be targeted at properties that need it the most. The service will also be available to residents who need to dispose of adult incontinence products.

Subscribing households will be provided with a supply of collection sacks and an outdoor storage container.

The pilot will begin in summer, complementing the new Recycle First weekly collection of recycling and waste being rolled out across the Borough over the coming months.

Combined with the additional recyclable materials being introduced as part of Recycle First, it will enable households to recycle up to 80 percent of their waste.

An application has been submitted to the Government’s Weekly Collection Support Fund to expand the trial Nappy-cycle service across West Cheshire.

More information regarding the recycling process can be found on the Knowast website

Nappy-cycle launch in Vale Royal areaPhoto: Local residents Harry and Claire Darbyshire with Cheshire West and Chester Councillor Lynn Riley demonstrating the new collection service, along with some the recycled products it will enable West Cheshire’s nappies will be transformed into.