Revamping Roads and Reducing Waste: Carmarthenshire Trials Recycled Nappies for Sustainable Infrastructure

23 days ago

Carmarthenshire County Council is proud in taking a big step towards sustainable highway maintenance and improving the management of our waste in the County. The Council have partnered with local recycling company Nappicycle to launch a trial project to surface our roads with recycled nappies.

This innovative project tackles two challenges at once: diverting waste away from landfill and the need for sustainable road maintenance. By using recycled nappy fibres instead of traditional materials, the council aims to:

  • Reduce landfill waste: The first project diverted 4 tonnes of nappies which is approximately 80,000 nappies from landfills, considering Carmarthenshire collected 6 million nappies in 2023 alone!
  • Create stronger, longer-lasting roads: The recycled nappy fibres are just as effective as conventional materials and with no additional cost.

The initial trial project on the B4336 at Pontweli in March 2024 is a promising start. Waste Nappies were collected by the Council, recycled at Nappicycle's facility in Capel Hendre, turning the waste into fibrous pellets, which were then delivered to our contractor GD Harries plant at Ludchurch for incorporation into the Stone Mastic Asphalt (SMA) surfacing material and then laid onto the road for surface improvement.

This project is a prime example of local circular economy in action. Instead of landfilling waste nappies, they have become a valuable resource in the improvement of our highway infrastructure. This project reduces our reliance on virgin resources and creates a more sustainable waste management system.

By keeping nappies out of landfills and minimising use of new materials, this project helps reduce our overall carbon footprint. With local recycling and product manufacture it means less transportation and processing are needed, leading to cleaner and healthier environment.

If successful, Carmarthenshire County Council plans to expand this initiative, paving the way for a more sustainable future.

Councillor Aled Vaughan Owen, Cabinet Member for Climate Change, Decarbonisation and Sustainability, says it best:

"This initiative is a testament to our commitment to environmental responsibility and innovation. By giving used nappies a new purpose, we're not just reducing waste, we're inspiring a positive change in how we manage waste altogether."