Relivit will build and run advanced recycling plants to process Absorbent Hygiene Product waste (AHP) such as adult continence aids – commonly called ‘pads’ as well as disposable nappies and sanitary waste. The first plant will open in Sydney in late 2013, and Relivit will expand to other states in due course.
AHP waste is currently mixed in with general waste and disposed of at landfill, with rising costs in many states. Valuable resources such as the plastics are lost forever.
Aged care facilities create a significant amount of AHP waste from the use of products by residents which allow the symptoms of incontinence to be managed conveniently.
Relivit commissioned waste audits at 10 aged care facilities in Sydney and Newcastle in 2012 and has undertaken almost 30 waste assessments since August 2012. Consistently, our estimates conclude that around half of the General Waste bins (by volume) from an aged care facility can be composed of AHP waste i.e. ‘pads’. This does not include assessments of the volume of recyclables (paper, cardboard, containers) or clinical, sanitary and garden waste, as this is almost impossible to track and/or measure.
The waste audits were even more precise – these showed that on average 40% of the general solid waste bins (by weight) was AHP waste. Proportions of other materials are shown in the pie chart.
By taking the Relivit service carers and staff at aged care facilities will be able to separate used continence aids into a dedicated ‘pads bin’. The waste will be collected regularly and brought to a Relivit plant for treatment and recycling, rather than being sent to landfill. Relivit will offer three-year contracts for collection and recycling this separated waste, to provide cost savings and confidence for all parties.