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Nappy recycling in doubt after plant closure

Councils that have been sending waste to the only nappy treatment facility in the UK are beginning to express their doubt over whether the recycling of nappies is going to be a viable option for those who live in the UK after the plant closed down.

Knowaste (Midlands) Ltd operated the plant which is a subsidy of the Canadian company Knowaste. The company claimed that they had to close their 36,000 tonne facility abruptly on May 22nd so that they could focus on creating more sustainable plants in other regions of the UK.

However, the company was quick to tell clients that it has no plans on removing itself from the UK market altogether even though presently they do not have any facilities open in the country. Knowaste has a history of troubles in other markets such as the Netherlands where the country was forced to close its Arnheim, Holland company six years ago when there was too much competition from other waste plants that were able to dispose of wastes much more efficiently and in a less costly manner.

Knowaste is also under a great deal of financial pressure to become more sustainable as financial report show that the West Bromwich facility had incurred costs of over £2b at the close of 2011. Many auditors at this time felt at this point that the future of the facility was questionable, so the fact that it made it for two more years was actually impressive.

Chief executive of the Sandwell metropolitan council where the facility was located Jan Britton, stated that they have always been in close communication with the company and they are disappointed that the nappy waste recycling plant is now closed because there were many local authorities about to step up to get involved.


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