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OCS acquisition heralds first nappy composting in UK

Composting of disposable nappies will become possible for the first time in the UK next year, at last reducing the tonnes that currently go to landfill. 

OCS, the International Services Group, has acquired the New Zealand company, Envirocomp which partnered in pioneering the technique and it plans to open its first UK facility in 2012.

“This is a real breakthrough and a first for the UK”, said Cecil Ryan, OCS Regional Managing Director, Europe. “Composting marks a step-change in the disposal of nappy waste and we’re delighted to be bringing this environmentally-friendly solution to this country.”

Nappies and other absorbent hygiene products (AHP) generate over 600,000 tonnes of waste each year, equivalent to more than 2% of total landfill. The Envirocomp process provides a more sustainable alternative to landfill and incineration, and so helps towards national targets to reduce landfill and ultimately create a zero-waste economy.

Envirocomp shreds the nappies, composts them with green waste over a 14-16 day period, then separates and removes the plastic. The compost is free of pathogens and suitable for horticultural and agricultural purposes (non-food).

Karen and Karl Upston, a New Zealand family of four, developed the process in collaboration with HotRot Organic Solutions using the existing patented HotRot composting technology.

In Canterbury, New Zealand, households can separate nappies and pay to have them collected. “For families who prefer disposable nappies for convenience but feel guilty about landfill, our process offers a way out of the dilemma”, said Karen Upston.

In the UK, Cannon Hygiene, a leader in provision of sustainable washroom solutions to companies worldwide, will work in partnership with Envirocomp in providing AHP waste from commercial clients. “We have enormous volumes from that source alone,” said Cecil Ryan, “domestic collection is not our initial focus – but it is something we will also be looking at”.

2.7 billion disposable nappies are purchased in the UK every year.


For further information and photographs, please contact: 

Miriam McDonald 00 353 87 255 9988