A pilot program for glove recycling
Kimberly-Clark Professional, a global leader in contamination control solutions for cleanrooms and laboratories, and TerraCycle, a leading recycler, announced that they are expanding the world's first cleanroom and laboratory garment recycling initiative to include a pilot program for gloves after reaching key collection milestones in the program's first six months.
Since the program's launch in October 2011, participating cleanrooms and laboratories have sent in over 7,000 pounds of garment waste, including coveralls, hoods, boot covers, hair nets, and masks, to be recycled into plastic products such as plastic lumber, park benches, and picnic tables.
Participating locations have requested more than 1,000 pallets of collection boxes to return additional garments, signifying that collections are on track to reach more than 350,000 pounds in coming months. Kimberly-Clark Professional and TerraCycle are actively pursuing additional locations for garment collection.
"The launch of the program last fall was a tremendous success," said TerraCycle CEO Tom Szaky. "The reaction to the program shows a need for recycling in this area, as well an industry desire to give a second life to garments and gloves. This new direction has been beneficial to TerraCycle, Kimberly-Clark Professional, laboratories and cleanrooms, and most importantly, the environment."
Kimberly-Clark Professional and TerraCycle's cleanroom recycling program is the first large-scale recycling system to be implemented for non-traditional cleanroom waste and reinforces Kimberly-Clark Professional's commitment to helping customers create Exceptional Workplaces that are safe, clean and sustainable. Companies can order the recycling program through approved Kimberly-Clark Professional distributors and receive a package with everything required to initiate garment recycling in their facilities.
TerraCycle then collects, converts, and resells all waste materials as either bulk plastics or eco-friendly consumer products. The company's bar code system allows Kimberly-Clark Professional to track waste reduction and report that information back to each facility, allowing customers to quantify their reduced environmental footprint.
"It is our continued goal to equip our customers with products and services that positively impact both their profitability and sustainability and help them create Exceptional Workplaces for their employees," noted Randy Kates, Director, Global Scientific Business, Kimberly-Clark Professional. "By working toward a point where we're enabling pharmaceutical manufacturing and cleanroom facilities to recycle gloves in addition to other cleanroom garments, we're extending our commitment to the customer and to the environment."
Life Technologies Corporation, a life sciences leader with 15 manufacturing sites in the U.S., is piloting a nitrile glove recycling program with Kimberly-Clark Professional, TerraCycle and Thermo Fisher Scientific, which supplies the gloves as well as all recycling program materials. Employees at Life Technologies' Pleasanton, California, facility started recycling gloves in December 2011 to support the goal of becoming the first of the company's sites to achieve zero waste to landfill.