With the students back in town for the semester, Marya Ryan re-contacted the Business in Environmental Responsibility (BER) volunteers she spoke with in the spring. The volunteers are helping with the glove recycling program.
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Glove Recycling (Ongoing)
Morgan White and Marya Ryan had a phone call with Monica Miller of the Division of Research Safety (DRS) and Shantanu Pai.
- Implement Solutions for Special Recyclables
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign participates in Kimberly-Clark’s RightCycle Program. Campus laboratories and dining facilities can keep disposable gloves out of the landfill to be recycled into useful plastic products.
Participation Makes a Difference
At certain locations, gloves make up a significant percentage of the waste stream, so participation in this program has a meaningful impact. For example, in one campus lab building, the gloves recycled equated to 8 percent of the weighed waste from the building. Instead of taking up room in a landfill, recycled gloves are molded into useful items, such as shelving, storage bins, chairs, and even flower pots.
How to Participate
Participating units must purchase their gloves through the iBuy website at https://www.obfs.uillinois.edu/iBuy/. iBuy supports glove recycling by coordinating glove purchasing and by sponsoring the storage container where gloves are collected for recycling.
Here’s how your lab/facility can participate:
- Designate one of your staff members as the contact person for program participation.
- Fill out the form at so we know you are participating and how to contact you. The form includes you an option to let F&S know how many gloves you purchase in a year, which helps determine the percentage of gloves that are recycled for reporting purposes.
- Obtain collection bins for your site from Sara Portillo at Kimberly-Clark (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Jordan Powers at Fisher Scientific (email@example.com). Alternatively, you may collect used gloves in the cardboard outer cases/boxes in which the Kimberly-Clark gloves arrive or other container of your choice.
- When a collection bin is full, take it to the trailer behind the Physical Plant Services Building at 1501 S. Oak in Champaign, using the north gated entrance. Observe these safety rules when dropping off bins:
- Go to the trailer between 9 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., when there is less traffic and it is safer and easier to reach the trailer.
- Note that the area around the trailer is unpaved, and there are no sidewalks.
- Watch for cars and trucks coming from all directions.
- Wear close-toed shoes.
Gloves cannot be recycled if they have been exposed to the following:
- Biohazards that have not been autoclaved. Gloves that have been autoclaved may be recycled but should be placed in clear bags; any gloves placed in red bags will be assumed to still be hazardous.
- Any chemicals that you would not put in the trash or in your car. If you are unsure about a specific chemical, contact Sara Portillo (firstname.lastname@example.org) at Kimberly-Clark to request a review.
Only Kimberly-Clark nitrile gloves purchased through iBuy may be recycled through this program. Kimberly-Clark must be able to ensure that they know the content of the material that they produce in the initial phase of the recycling process. Unknown material types can compromise the quality of the recycled material that they provide to manufacturers who purchase it from them.