Despite the fact that this post makes me look like a “one trick pony” I have to share yet another recycling innovation that involves, well, you know…
The Canadian company Knowaste has opened several facilities in the U.K. that are making a significant dent in the nearly 800,000 tons of disposable nappies and other “absorbent hygiene product” waste that would normally go directly to landfills annually.
The company has pioneered a system that, after heat sterilization, converts the plastics in the products into items such as roof shingles and plastic tubing, with the waste from that processing used to generate heat and power for the plant itself.
In a rather ingenuous show of transparency, the Knowaste website provides a musically accompanied plant tour with clips taking you through the recycling process from receiving to end product. (One segment is called “sludge”. It’s a typical example of the site’s no frills WYSIWYG style.) The end product clip entitled “tiles” shows a sturdy looking shingle tile that doesn’t differ much from those most people are likely familiar with.
In my research on the company and the product I came across the occasional “ick factor” comment in the discussion threads. It made me think about recycling in general and how by nature it is taking something that is considered waste and either turning it into something new and useful, or just simply reusing it.
So ABH (absorbent hygiene product) made house shingles? Why not? Dung based building bricks have served indigenous people well for centuries. Isn’t that the whole concept of recycling?