Skip to content

Glove Recycling Program

How it Works

  1. If you're at WHOI, contact Liz Maloney to enroll in the WHOI program.  (If not at WHOI, contact Kate Stanley at Kimberly-Clark to set up your own program.) Your lab will have to undergo a short training session to review the program’s guidelines.  PIs and lab managers are in charge of the program in each lab.
  2. Start collecting Kimberly-Clark (KC) nitrile gloves in a container in your lab (clear plastic liner required).  Make sure the container you use is properly labelled with the 2 required signs.
  3. Once the Box is full:
    1. Check for and remove any non-glove items.
    2. Secure the clear bag with tie.
    3. Contact Troy Kelley for pick up.
    4. Put a new clear liner in your labeled box and start the process of collection again!

About the Program

Kimberly-Clark offers the first large-scale effort to divert previously hard-to-recycle and commonly used items like laboratory nitrile gloves from landfills to recycled products. In a UCSC laboratory waste assessment, it was found that nitrile gloves make up a majority of laboratory waste destined for the landfill.

To reduce such a large waste stream, WHOI’s Sustainability Task Force is collaborating 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.

The Sustainability Task Force officially began its Kimberly-Clark Nitrile Glove Recycling Program in late October 2015. We hope laboratories around WHOI 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 (the Kimberly-Clark “purple” nitrile gloves are available in the WHOI Stockroom).

Questions & Answers

Q. Can only Kimberly-Clark gloves be recycled?
A. Yes. The gloves are being up-cycled (reused) and sold in the raw materials market for products.   Raw materials must come from a known formulation of gloves.  Each glove manufacturer has their own proprietary glove formulation, so we cannot accept other brands within the recycling program.  KC purple nitrile gloves are available to be purchased in the WHOI Stockroom.

Q. Can you recycle other materials like latex and blended gloves?
A. No.  Right now, only nitrile is accepted.

Q. Can chemically contaminated gloves be recycled?
A. No.  The program will only recycle gloves used for non-hazardous work and are destined for the landfill. If you are disposing your gloves any other way (biohazard, hazwaste, etc.), they need to continue to be disposed according to EH&S protocols.  The program also accepts autoclaved gloves.  If you are uncertain whether your gloves should go in the regular trash vs in the recycling bin please contact EH&S.

Q. Can plastic bag liner be placed in the glove recycling box?
A. Yes. The receptacle should be lined with a clear non-latex bag.

Q. Where can I get more information about chemical compatibility and Kimberly-Clark gloves?
A. The Chemical Resistance Guide offers the chemical compatibility for Kimberly-Clark Purple and Sterling Nitrile gloves. The Lavender Nitrile glove does not have any chemical claims but will give better protection than latex gloves.

Q. Who do I contact when the cardboard recycling boxes are full?
A. Please contact Troy Kelley for pickup.

Q. Are all labs required to participate in Right-Cycle?
A. No.  It is completely voluntary.

Q. Is this program free?
A. To you, yes. But WHOI will have to pay costs for shipment of recycled gloves back to Right-Cycle.

Q. Do you need training to participate in the Right Cycle Program?
Yes.  Please contact Liz Maloney to get started.


WHOI Recycles Lab Gloves Via RightCycle Program


glove recycle program

Kimberly-Clark Blue Nitrile Gloves are accepted as well.
Recycling process.

Related Files

» How it Works Flyer (pdf format)

» Chemical Resistance Guide (pdf format)

» Glove Bin Labels (pdf format)

» Kimberly Clark's Recycling Mission (pdf format)