Kimberly-Clark Professional, Roswell, Ga, introduces RightCycle – the first large-scale recycling effort for nontraditional cleanroom waste, to provide cleanrooms and labs with solutions to mitigate waste and enhance corporate social responsibility and sustainability efforts.
"Our customers have ambitious sustainability goals, yet often struggle with where and how to get started," says Randy Kates, director, global scientific business, Kimberly-Clark Professional. "We believe the most significant and enduring change occurs when team members are actively engaged in the solution.
The program offers a powerful and easy way for customers to exceed their solid-waste reduction goals, while helping to make their workplaces healthier, safer, and more productive, he adds.
The program offers a new take on recycling–beyond downcycling, upcycling, and other approaches.
It makes it easy to recycle previously hard-to-recycle items like cleanroom garments, gloves, hoods, boot covers, and hairnets. Items are deposited in either a RightCycle collection box or in the client's own boxes. Full boxes are assembled onto pallets and picked up by Kimberly-Clark Professional recycling partner TerraCycle. After the products are collected, they are turned into raw materials and used to create useful, ecofriendly consumer products, such as plastic Adirondack chairs and benches, bulk plastics, and other items.
Kimberly-Clark Professional established its single-use garment recycling program in 2011 and completed successful pilots of a nitrile glove recycling program in 2012, which is now available nationwide.
Since the recycling efforts began, participating cleanrooms and laboratories have diverted 70,000 pounds of garment, glove and other waste from landfills via the company's recycling programs. Life Technologies Corp, Carlsbad, Calif, is on track to recycle five tons of gloves in the first year.
Landfill options are becoming more limited and waste disposal costs continue to rise.
[Source: Kimberly-Clark Corp]