Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ OPERATORS IN THE SECTOR

In order to launch the initiative, the local area served by the plant must have an active recycled waste collection service specifically for used absorbent hygiene products. Such service may be activated for private homes, but also non-private structures such as retirement homes, hospitals, and pre-schools. Different recycling systems may be used (door-to-door in bags or waste bins, specific recycling bins located on-street or at city recycling centres - with or without a key), functional to the system adopted in the area.
The emissions avoided thanks to the recovery of recycled material are by far greater than those generated by the recycling system as a whole. The positive effect of such system has been certified by studies carried out by independent companies leading the environmental impact assessment sector. Odour emissions are negligible. Impact on the local air quality is also quite modest: the only local emissions are related to the medium-sized methane gas boiler that is the equivalent of one feeding two apartment buildings. Finally, noise pollution is insignificant.
Absolutely. The three materials recovered throughout the recycling process enter existing markets and have a vast number of uses, thus there are numerous industries interested in using them in their production processes. This is possible thanks to the fact that the secondary raw material generated from recycling of absorbent hygiene products are of a high quality compared to standard secondary raw material. This justifies an added value of the material produced, and strengthens the economic sustainability of the project as a whole.
The recycling technology has already reached an industrial-scale level of implementation, and our research activity is now focused on the identification of new high added value applications for the secondary raw material produced through the recycling process. We shall focus in particular on the promotion of the material in sub-sectors of green chemistry, composite materials, and agronomy.

FAQ INSTITUTIONS

In order to launch the initiative, the local area served by the plant must have an active recycled waste collection service specifically for used absorbent hygiene products. Such service may be activated for private homes, but also non-private structures such as retirement homes, hospitals, and pre-schools. Different recycling systems may be used (door-to-door in bags or waste bins, specific recycling bins located on-street or at city recycling centres - with or without a key), functional to the system adopted in the area.
The environmental advantages of recycling the products compared to bringing them to landfill or incineration are particularly significant for absorbent hygiene products. Thanks to the AHP waste recycling technology, one plant may generate 3,000 metric tons/year of high-quality secondary raw material, which would replace the consumption of virgin material and bring an annual reduction of greenhouse gases equivalent to that produced by 1,100 cars.
Yes. In fact, although the introduction of a specific recycling system for used absorbent hygiene products implies a higher collection cost, the latter may be easily counterbalanced by the savings generated by an optimization of the collection of the residual waste (for example through a reduction in collection frequency) and a competitive tax for waste delivery to the recycling facility compared to that imposed for delivery to landfill or incineration.
The emissions avoided thanks to the recovery of recycled material are by far greater than those generated by the recycling system as a whole. The positive effect of such system has been certified by studies carried out by independent companies leading the environmental impact assessment sector. Odour emissions are negligible. Impact on the local air quality is also quite modest: the only local emissions are related to the medium-sized methane gas boiler that is the equivalent of one feeding two apartment buildings. Finally, noise pollution is insignificant.

FAQ CITIZENS

To receive suitable information on how to dispose of absorbent hygiene products (also known as AHPs or PAP in Italy), please ask your city hall of residence, given that every city has its own specific system for waste management. Generally speaking cities using door-to-door recycling will have a dedicated waste collection service for absorbent hygiene products.
Users recycling absorbent hygiene products have two enormous benefits:
1. An improved service quality, given that they would not need to store smelly waste products at home for extended periods of time;
2. No increase in cost within a quantity-based payment system.
The emissions avoided thanks to the recovery of recycled material are by far greater than those generated by the recycling system as a whole. The positive effect of such system has been certified by studies carried out by independent companies leading the environmental impact assessment sector. Odour emissions are negligible. Impact on the local air quality is also quite modest: the only local emissions are related to the medium-sized methane gas boiler that is the equivalent of one feeding two apartment buildings. Finally, noise pollution is insignificant.
Materials recovered through the recycling process are high-quality cellulose, plastics, and a superabsorbent polymer, which have a wide range of industrial applications.
- cellulose: production of high-quality printing paper; building sector applications; cat litter production.
- plastic: production of vast number of objects including clothespins, penholders, recycling bins.
- superabsorbent polymer: production of systems for washout-proof and humidity-proof systems.
Absolutely. Before being placed on the market, materials deriving from pad and diaper recycling undergo certified sterilization processes following the same standards used to certify surgical medical devices.

 

This project has received funding from the Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 745746