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TerraCycle, Kimberly-Clark Expand Medical Garment Recycling Program

Kimberly-Clark Professional and TerraCycle Inc. are expanding their cleanroom and laboratory garment recycling program to include a pilot program for gloves.

Grand Island, N.Y.-based Life Technologies Corp., is piloting a nitrile glove recycling program with Roswell, Ga.-based Kimberly-Clark Professional and Trenton, N.J.-based TerraCycle. Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., based in Waltham, Mass., is supplying the gloves as well as all recycling program materials, the companies said in a news release.

Employees at Life Technologies' Pleasanton, Calif., facility started recycling gloves in December 2011 with the goal of becoming the first of the company's sites to achieve zero waste to landfill.

"In 2011, our Pleasanton manufacturing site raised its landfill diversion rate from 37 to 83 percent, and in early 2012 we expect to reach over 90 percent," said Eve Nichelini, Life Technologies’ glove and garment recycling program manager. "The recycling program with TerraCycle, Kimberly-Clark Professional and Thermo Fisher Scientific is critical to meeting this goal because gloves account for a significant percentage of Pleasanton's total waste.”

The Kimberly-Clark and TerraCycle garment recycling program began in October 2011. Since then, cleanrooms and laboratories have submitted more than 7,000 pounds of garment waste, including coveralls, hoods, boot covers, hair nets and masks, to be recycled into plastic products such as plastic lumber, park benches and picnic tables. The two companies are looking to expand the number of garment collection locations.


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