Kimberly-Clark Recycling Program Helps Two Midwestern Universities Turn Used Gloves into Durable Goods

November 16, 2016 - garden totes

The Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC) during a University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and Purdue University have diverted roughly 6 tons of rubbish from landfills by a recycling module that turns used lab gloves and panoply into shelving, flowerpots and grass and garden furniture.

Both institutions were looking for ways to revoke their plain rubbish streams and raise their sustainability efforts. They found it in a module called RightCycle by Kimberly-Clark Professional, a initial large-scale recycling module for non-hazardous lab and industrial waste.

Since a pregnancy in 2011, RightCycle has diverted some-more than 350 metric tons of rubbish from landfills. In a initial year, it diverted dual tons of waste. The series of business participating in a module has significantly increased, from only a handful during a start to roughly 200 as of Jul 2016. Kimberly-Clark Professional is stability to enhance a module – bringing it to Western Europe and exploring enlargement into other regions.

“We pioneered this module since we famous that a sustainability goals of a university and curative business enclosed shortening landfill waste, and single-use gloves accounted for a vast commission of that waste,” Randy Kates, executive of a Kimberly-Clark Professional Global Scientific Business, pronounced in a statement. “We indispensable to find a recycling resolution that helped them grasp their goals and enabled their people to be definitely intent in a process.”

RightCycle removes gloves, masks, garments, shoe covers and other attire accessories from a rubbish tide and turns them into cosmetic pellets. These are afterwards used to emanate eco-responsible consumer products and durable goods, such as grass furniture, flowerpots and planters, shelving, totes and storage bins.

The Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC) is a multiplication of a Prairie Research Institute during a University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Its goal is to expostulate statewide mercantile expansion by sustainability. To perform that mission, ISTC conducts systematic investigate and, in a process, uses a lot of gloves.

“We conducted a rubbish review to see how we could go to 0 rubbish in a possess building and satisfied that gloves were about 10 percent of a sum rubbish by weight,” Shantanu Pai, ISTC partner sustainability researcher, pronounced in a statement. “We were already effectively recycling other equipment – glass, aluminum, paper and cardboard.”

With RightCycle, ISTC was means to strech 89 percent correspondence for gloves in a labs. It afterwards motionless to take a module a step further, piloting it in a University’s categorical dining gymnasium and achieving an estimated diversion rate of 90 percent. It is in a routine of expanding a bid to all dining comforts and campus labs. In fact, a university has purchased a storage enclosure to residence a gloves, so that shipments can be done only once a year.

Since implementing a RightCycle module in 2013, a Center and a University have diverted 4,945 pounds, or approximately 320,480 gloves, from landfills.

It had identical success during Purdue University, that uses approximately 360,000 disposable gloves annually.

In 2014, Purdue University combined glove recycling to a list of sustainability accomplishments, when it adopted a RightCycle program. Since Nov 2014, a chemistry dialect during Purdue University has diverted 6,862 pounds of lab gloves from landfills, or approximately 444,718 gloves. Michael Gulich, executive of campus master formulation and sustainability, is looking to enhance a module to other campus labs as good as food credentials areas.

“Once we residence cans, bottles, paper and card recycling, we get into smaller niche streams,” Gulich pronounced in a statement. “We have some addressed really well, such as wiring rubbish and landscape debris. Previously, gloves didn’t have a solution. Anything that increases a diversion rate is good.”

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