Envirocomp opens million dollar "nappy" composting plant in Upper Hutt

Thursday 25 October 2012, 2:24PM
By Lyn Mayes


Envirocomp officially opened its 2nd plant in Upper Hutt today as part of a global expansion which is set to take the business to the Europe, Central and North in the next two years.

The company which launched the first commercial plant to compost disposable nappies and other sanitary hygiene products in Canterbury in 2009 has received a contribution of $700,000 from the Waste Minimisation Fund to help build this world class sanitary hygiene composting facility. This new plant means that 24% New Zealanders now have access to the Envirocomp service.

Envirocomp Founder and Director Karen Upston said: “Since we opened in Canterbury we have processed 2,500 tonnes of sanitary hygiene waste – that’s the equivalent of around 16 million nappies. This new plant will initially compost around 1,000 tonnes per annum, with the capacity to quadruple in size.”

“The market size for sanitary hygiene products in Wellington region is similar to that in Canterbury with 7,432 tonnes of sanitary hygiene products currently going to landfill each year. Almost half of this waste is from adult incontinence products and this is a market which is growing each year.”

“The business model for Envirocomp is predicated on partnerships with local government and industry and I would like to thank Mayor Guppy for Upper Hutt Council’s support in securing a location for the plant and Kimberly-Clark NZ which markets HUGGIES® Nappies for their continued sponsorship of Envirocomp. HUGGIES® has been with us from the start and they are now a global partner for Envirocomp.”

Envirocomp is a user pays system which charges customers at the front end when they sign up to the service.

Upston says Envirocomp is about providing people with an affordable service which reduces their waste and makes them feel better about using disposable products which improve people’s health and convenience:

“We provide customers with a convenient service for which they are happy to pay around $3 per week or around the cost of a flat white a week. Specially designed ‘drop-off’ bins have been placed around the region at supermarket car parks where families have secure access to deliver their pre-paid bags of nappies or sanitary hygiene waste. This means that people don’t have to wait until collection day to remove their waste, but can drop it off when it is convenient for them to do so when they are doing the shopping.

We also collect directly from commercial customers, such as residential care homes and preschools.”
OCS Limited: 26 Virginia Avenue East Auckland

Envirocomp Upper Hutt already has over 100 customers subscribing to the new service and expects to match the Canterbury customer base of over 700 households and 500 commercial customers by the middle of 2013.