In the Fall 2013 Waste Assessment of Laboratories, it was found that nitrile gloves make up a majority of laboratory waste destined for the landfill. To divert such a large waste stream, UCSC Green Labs has collaborated with the Kimberly-Clark Nitrile Glove Recycling Program (“RightCycle”) to promote laboratory sustainability and expand a national effort that has so far diverted 70,000 pounds of waste from landfills.
Kimberly-Clark’s RightCycle is the first large-scale effort for previously hard-to-recycle and commonly used items like laboratory nitrile gloves. The way the program works is that gloves previously thrown in the trash can now be placed in RightCycle collection bins, full bins are then shipped and processed at a recycling partner, and the resulting materials can be integrated into new eco-friendly products like park benches or Frisbees.
UCSC Green Labs officially began its Kimberly-Clark Nitrile Glove Recycling Program in late February. Collection bins are now located across eight laboratory facilities both on and off campus. Green Labs hopes laboratories will participate in recycling their current stock of Kimberly-Clark Nitrile gloves or begin purchasing the more sustainable Kimberly-Clark Nitrile brand as the program continues. Laboratories can be an important part in reaching our Zero Waste by 2020 goal.
If you would like to learn more about the UCSC RightCycle Program, visit our website.