Thanks to Canadian company Knowaste, you can now tile your roof with what was once a dirty diaper. Knowaste has pioneered a process that turns used diapers into sturdy plastic pellets that can be then transformed into building materials, like roof tiles and plastic tubing. The company plans to build 5 absorbent hygiene recycling plants across the UK in the next five years and are hoping to make a huge dent in the 1.1 billion pounds of diaper waste that gets sent to UK landfills each year.
The first step in the process of recycling the diapers, thankfully, is sanitization. If you’d like to watch how the whole thing works you can head over to Knowaste’s website and take a video tour of the plant — though we’ll warn you, some of the video moments are a little nauseating if you think of what it probably smells like in there.
Initially, Knowaste expects to get their supply of diapers from childcare facilities, nursing homes and hospitals but they hope to expand to homes in the future. The cost of collecting is high and the infrastructure just isn’t in place for special deliveries of used absorbent hygiene products.
Knowaste doesn’t just stick to infant’s diapers, the company also recycles adult diapers and any other absorbent hygiene product. Each of their super-efficient, recycling facilities is capable of processing 80,000 pounds of absorbent hygiene products every year. Compared to the general method of disposal for these products — landfill or incineration — sending them to the Knowaste factory saves the same amount of space in a landfill as 96 olympic sized swimming pools and removes from the air the same amount of carbon dioxide as 7,500 cars. Not to mention that once they’ve been processed, they turn into a much-needed building material.
Lead image and second image by IngaMun on Flickr
Third image by simplyla on Flickr