Illinois Success Story a Model for Sustainable University

purple nitrile gloves are successfully recycled at UIUC


Today Kimberly-Clark recognized two Big Ten Champions in the recycling of nitrile gloves – the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign and Purdue University.


The company highlighted success stories at the two top research universities who both use large quantities of single-use nitrile gloves. ISTC’s focus was on science laboratories and food service operations across campus. Kimberly-Clark’s successful RightCycle program has grown quickly by nurturing a supply chain for its gloves and related products so that they can be turned into eco-responsible consumer products and durable goods, such as lawn furniture, flowerpots and planters, shelving, totes and storage bins. ISTC boasts a bike rack and a park bench potentially containing from some of it’s own used gloves.


ISTC’s Zero Waste Program engineers took on the nitrile glove recycling project as a natural extension of its robust collaboration with its sustainably minded campus partners, including University Housing/Dining ServicesFacilities and Services, the Institute for Society, Energy, and Environment, and the Student Sustainability Committee.


RightCycle enables the two universities, and hundreds of Kimberly-Clark’s large customers, to advance their sustainability goals by reducing their waste streams and upcycling a raw material for valuable new uses. Read more on the RightCycle Program here. The news release is also accessible here.

About Jim Dexter

Communications Coordinator, Illinois Sustainable Technology Center, Prairie Research Institute, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
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