Kiwi company Envirocomp, which specialises in composting disposable nappies, announced earlier this year it had been acquired by the New Zealand office of UK-based facilities services company OCS — a move it said would provide the company with unprecedented access to foreign markets. Now plans to takes its ‘HotRot' nappy composting plant to the world are firmly afoot, with OCS signing a sponsorship agreement with Kimberly-Clark Corporation that gives the U.S. headquartered manufacturer of the Huggies brand the right of first refusal to sponsor OCS’s Envirocomp composting facilities as they are installed around the world.
Vice president of global sustainability at Kimberly-Clarks, Suhas Apte, said the relationship will help the company achieve its sustainability goals.
“Kimberly-Clark has backed Envirocomp from the start, working with its founder, Karen Upston, to build the business model and grow relationships with industry, local and central government. This has been a true partnership.”
It’s not the first time the company has dabbled in sponsorship. A similar sponsorship agreement between Huggies and Envirocomp took place in 2009. That sponsorship lead to the establishment of the first commercial nappy composting facility in Christchurch. Within the first year of operation, the facility processed more than 15,000 nappies a day, which were mixed with green waste supplied by the local councils that resulted in compost suitable for commercial gardening or landscaping.
OCS plans to open plants in the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, Australia and mainland Europe in the next 18 months. Plans are also underway to expand its New Zealand operations.
OCS is installing its second plant in the Wellington region with a $700,000 grant from the New Zealand Government’s Waste Minimisation Fund.
The idea to compost nappies is the brainchild of Karen and Karl Upston who had owned a business selling both disposable and cloth nappies and regularly embarked on the cloth versus disposable argument. They decided to trial composting disposable nappies on a commercial scale, and contacted HotRot Organic Solutions (NZ) Ltd, manufacturers of the HotRot range of in-vessel composting systems, for advice and guidance.
After a five-month trial which involved over 200 families, 45,000 nappies were composted (equating to 56 tonnes) and the couple went on to build their North Canterbury composting facility in collaboration with HotZRot Organic Solutions.
if you fancy finding out how the processing plant works, Envirocomp offers an explanation here.