Photo via Life
Finding sources for renewable energy isn't always pretty--we've seen Swedes turn to dead bunnies and dairy farms use manure. Now, it seems there's another option on the table: dirty diapers. Yes, a new diaper recycling plant, the first of its kind in the UK, is going to get 100 percent of its power from the organic materials in disposable diapers.I guess there's a requirement in uncovering new forms of renewable energy that they simply be as unpleasant or fecal-related as possible. But this certainly is an ingenious idea--there's a huge surplus of dirty disposable diapers clogging the landfills, and what better way to take advantage of the problem than to turn them into energy?
According to CleanTechnica, the two UK companies Versus Energy and Knowaste have partnered to build the diaper recycling plant. The disposable diapers will be broken down inside the plant, with a small portion of the diapers--the organic materials--being converted into energy. The bulk of the remaining materials will be separated to eventually find their way into various products.
Organic waste accounts for only 2% of the materials in "pre-owned" disposable diapers. What happens to the other 98%? It will be dried, sterilized, and separated into reusable paper pulp and plastic. The end use of those materials has not yet been announced but based on Knowaste's past experience, roof tiles, shoe insoles, wallpaper, plastic "wood," and industrial thickeners are likely candidates.The fact that only 2% of a diaper can be converted into energy should give you a (slightly gross) idea of the huge numbers of dirty diapers that will be passing through the plant. Kudos to yet another off the wall business plan--the companies expect to make serious profits in the dirty diaper recycling biz.