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Hurunui Disposable Nappy Composting - World First
Saturday 29 March 2008, 1:21PM
By Hurunui District Council


The Hurunui District Council is excited to partner Envirocomp Ltd to bring the World’s first custom built commercial composting facility designed especially to compost disposable nappies and incontinence products - and it comes with a manufacturer’s odour-free guarantee!

Until now there hasn’t been a method of diverting nappies, sanitary and incontinence products from ultimate disposal into landfills. “It’s difficult to predict” says Karen and Karl Upston of Environcomp Ltd, “how long a disposable nappy will take to decompose in our current landfills. Even with today’s modern and sophisticated landfill sites, nothing much breaks down in a landfill.”

R5 Solutions have designed a modular in-vessel system which will initially compost up to 5 tonnes per day. Green waste (kitchen scraps, wood chip, garden waste etc) are added as a bulking agent to the disposable nappies and incontinence products, and after composting these a specialised screening process is used to remove plastic contaminants (11-13% on average of disposable nappies), with the final product being on sold to a commercial landscaping business, and also being made available to community based projects for fundraising.

Dr Peter Robinson of R5 Solutions the suppliers of the HotRot composting technology says that the plant has been designed to minimise environmental effects, and an odour assessment indicates that any odour concentrations produced will be very low and are described as having a non-offensive earthy, musty character.

R5 Solutions (NZ) Ltd is the only manufacturer of composting technology in the world to offers its clients an odour-free guarantee, whereby R5 warrants that a HotRot composting plant will not generate offensive odours beyond the site boundary."

Immediate neighbours of the Hurunui composting site have all signed their consent and are said to be very supportive of the new venture.

Hurunui District Council Mayor Garry Jackson says that the operation will initially divert 5 tonnes of nappies and green-waste product daily, equalling 1825 tonnes annually, with the capacity to double this as needed. “This is a cutting-edge development, and we are honoured and privileged to partner Envirocomp Ltd in this exciting new frontier.”