Birmingham recycling plant will turn plastic element of sanitary waste into building products

A recycling plant is to be built in Birmingham that will supply roof tiles made from recycled nappies.

The facility, due to open in 2010, is being developed by Knowaste, a specialist in recycling nappies and adult incontinence products. The roofing products, which will be manufactured by Mailbox Mouldings and distributed by Knowaste's spin-off company Small Planet Building Products, use recycled plastic that will initially come from a variety of sources until the Birmingham plant is up and running.

The recycling process sanitises the waste to produce two outputs: plastic and cellulose organic residue for green energy. The plastic will be made into a variety of products, including plastic cladding, decking and roof tiles.

Roy Brown, president and chief executive of Knowaste, said: “More than 750,000 tonnes of nappy waste is disposed of in the UK each year – a figure that highlights the importance of developing alternative uses for post-consumer nappies. There is an obvious potential for synergy between the material waste produced by industry and householders and the raw materials required to produce construction products.”

The roof tiles will be available in black, green, grey, red and brown.