Kimberly-Clark Professional has introduced a large-scale recycling effort for nontraditional cleanroom waste such as cleanroom garments, gloves, hoods, boot covers and hairnets. The company says it is the first large-scale recycling effort for this type of waste.
With the RightCycle program, 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, eco-friendly consumer products, such as plastic Adirondack chairs and benches, bulk plastics and other items.
The company says customers struggle with how to get started in achieving their sustainability goals. By providing cleanrooms and laboratories with a program to mitigate waste, Kimberly-Clark says it can help customers exceed their solid waste reduction goals, and help make their workplaces healthier, safer and more productive.
Kimberly-Clark Professional first announced 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 Kimberly-Clark Professional recycling programs.
Since 2000, the company’s Global Nonwovens Division, which develops and manufactures fabrics and materials used to create products such as protective apparel and face masks, has diverted more than 99 percent of its manufacturing waste from landfills. Kimblery-Clark has a goal of sending zero manufacturing waste to landfills by 2015.