A waste water treatment plant in the Netherlands called Geestmerambacht has been testing a process for two years called Cellvation, which extracts the cellulose from used toilet paper, The Guardian reports. Usually, the fibrous cellulose is incinerated at the end of the process, but researchers have been using and industrial-sized sieve to separate it from the sludge. It's then sterilized in high temperatures and dried out.
The result is pellets or fluffy, papery material that can be sold as building material. The project workers at Geestmerambacht believe the process is something that could be grown and replicated, and may go a long way towards reducing toilet waste. They're proposing that the material could be used for producing plastic bottles or bike lanes around Dutch cities.
Cellvation was initiated by two companies, and was supported by a grant from the Netherlands. Carlijn Lahaye, managing director of one of those companies, CirTec, told the Guardian that the Dutch prefer extremely luxurious toilet paper compared to the rest of the toilet paper using nations. That means high quality cellulose to farm. Lahaye says that the small scale model is not yet efficient enough to be profitable, but she is convinced it could work at a bigger scale.