Founded by Clarke Kelland, Oliver Kelland and Cynthia Wallis Barnicoat, DiaperRecycle diverts nappies from landfill, recycling them and making new products for existing markets.
Annually in Australia, over two billion used disposable diapers go to landfill. They release greenhouse gases and can take up to 500 years to break down, and are part of a growing global problem.
Having worked for a brief time in the recycling industry, Clarke became particularly motivated to find a sustainable commercial solution for the complexity of recycling nappies, combining a passion for making an environmental impact and creating employment with a purpose.
A chemical engineer with experience in the pulp and paper industry, having previously produced nappy fibre, Clarke had a good understanding of fibre processing options. Forearmed with the knowledge of failed diaper recycling ventures, he decided to develop his own recycling technology and established a small pilot plant.
In 2018, Cynthia came on board to manage the business and stakeholder side, and in 2019 after three years of R&D, they established Kelland Environmental Technology Ltd, of which DiaperRecycle and NappyRecycle are the trading businesses.
DiaperRecycle began market testing its first products in 2019, continually refining to meet market need, and was ramping up to establish a fully operational commercial facility when Oliver joined the founding team to engineer the first commercial plant.
Focusing first on how to recycle a nappy economically and make products that people want, has meant that a recycling solution has been found and DiaperRecycle is now ready to go commercial.
Cynthia has worked mainly in the not for profit sector and has a strong desire to do good for others, through both social and environmental impact. Starting in the arts, culture and heritage sector she ran her own dealer art gallery and a video production business before moving into public museums where she had roles in education, public programs, audience development, strategy and development and was a Director of a regional museum.
In recent years she has moved into philanthropy, by starting a charity Books4Tonga, establishing small village libraries throughout Tonga.
She has qualifications in business administration, marketing, governance, leadership, a Master Museum Studies, a Master Social Investment and Philanthropy and is a Winston Churchill Fellow.
Clarke has an engineering background in the forest products industry where his experience has included the development and implementation of innovative waste management solutions for pulp mill wastes and other problematic waste by-products from wood processing operations.
He developed an industry first zero-discharge wastewater evaporation plant to eliminate pulp mill pollution to the Murray River, and also managed the rebuild of a pulp mill to produce fibre for absorbent hygiene products, including nappies and high-grade toilet tissue.
Clarke is the key driving force behind DiaperRecycle and has developed the nappy recycling technology. He has a chemical engineering degree, an MBA (Technology Management) and a certificate in pulping technology.
Oliver is a qualified mechanic and holds a degree in Civil Engineering. He has experience with structural design, maintaining and modifying equipment, as well as developing new process tools for recycling and product development. His skills enable him to design and implement solutions to overcome the toughest technical challenges.