Recycling absorbent hygiene products one step closer

A new three year partnership between a major manufacturer of absorbent hygiene products and an Australian-first recycling company aims to see 18,000 tonnes of aged care waste in NSW alone recycled into park benches, fences and flooring.

A company that plans to establish Australia’s first recycling plant for absorbent hygiene waste (AHW) – including continence products, sanitary pads and baby nappies – has received a boost that will help it achieve its required tonnage and secure the funding needed to bring the project into operation in 2014.

A new three year partnership contract between Relivit and absorbent hygiene product manufacturer, Initial Hygiene, will help to ensure that aged care facilities have the option of recycling all their AHW when Relivit’s service commences. Australian Ageing Agenda has previously reported on the vision of Australian specialist recycler, Relivit, to establish Australia’s first nappy, incontinence pad and female hygiene product recycling service in Western Sydney, which is now scheduled for 2014.

The company has worked closely with peak body, Aged and Community Services, NSW & ACT and the NSW Department of Heritage and Environment, with funding and support from another absorbent hygiene product manufacturer, SCA Hygiene Australasia, to undertake an audit of absorbent waste generation in residential aged care facilities.

Alain Moffroid, Pacific Managing Director for Initial’s parent company Rentokil Initial, said the partnership with Relivit is a big step in increasing his company’s sustainability practices in Australia and believes it is the way forward for all businesses and governments who have the opportunity to recycle AHW.

“As leaders in the hygiene solutions category, we were looking for new technology to address the growing problem of how to sustainably dispose of AHW. Partnering with Relivit is a practical investment in the future of waste management in Australia. 

“Businesses have an increasing social and environmental responsibility to establish sustainable practices and ours is no exception. Initial is committed to turning words into action and driving innovation that benefits our customers and the community.”

Additionally Initial has provided human and financial resources to assist Relivit to promote its service.

“Initial Hygiene is starting this program in NSW and will expand the program Australia-wide as Relivit’s process capabilities expand to other states,” said Mr Moffroid.

An Australian first

Relivit’s Managing Director Mark Dunn said that Relivit’s AHW recycling technology is an Australian first and can divert 95 per cent of the 450,000 tonnes of nappies, sanitary pads and incontinence pads that Australia produces away from landfill, more than halving the carbon footprint of AHW.

“By recycling nappies, sanitary pads and incontinence pad waste, which currently costs Australian businesses and councils approximately $60 million to bury in landfill each year, businesses and councils are able to reduce both the environmental and financial impact of this AHW significantly,” said Mr Dunn.

The recycled plastics and wood fibres from AHW can be used to make products as diverse as fence posts; park benches; tables and chairs; flooring; wheel stops and speed humps; molded cardboard products and fine paper; and pet bedding and pet litter.

Relivit’s first plant will open in NSW in 2014 and there are plans to expand Australia-wide over the next five years. Relivit will service businesses including hospitals, childcare centres and aged care facilities as well as local councils, providing them with an environmentally sustainable and cost effective AHW recycling solution.

Australian Ageing Agenda’s previous reports on this project include:
There have also been features in the magazine in the May June 2012 and March April 2013 issues.
Tags: absorbent-hygiene-waste, initial-hygiene, relivit,

4 thoughts on “Recycling absorbent hygiene products one step closer

  1. A hearty congratulations to both companies, this will be a key environmental issue for many seniors and aged care providers. I can only hope that this project gets National support and we see it in WA soon. Keep us posted on this positive environmental project.

  2. Wow, this is a good news. Come to think of it, absrobent pads, nappies, napkin, recycled into usable items like fence, bench, tables and chairs. Glad to know about this innovation. It will be a cleaner and greener environment for all of us.

  3. Great article about the waste removal specialist! Looking forward to the next post. Thanks for sharing this one.

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