ISTC and the University of Illinois received their second Greenovation Award July 28 from Kimberly-Clark Corporation for their leading roles in supporting the recycling of nitrile gloves in laboratories, kitchens and housing facilities on campus.
The local recycling program originated with engineers at the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center and was quickly taken up by the University's Housing, as well as Facilities and Services Departments. Bart Bartels, technical assistance engineer at ISTC, is assisting the university with its program.
The award also recognized the essential role of the U of I's Student Sustainability Committee which funded the separate glove recycling bins that enabled the entire program. "The effort to expand the glove recycling program is continuing," said Bartels. "Logistics are being worked out to enable additional buildings to participate."
Blake Ashley, territory sales manager with Kimberly-Clark Professional, said 10 universities nationwide have joined the recycling effort, but the U of I's is the most successful, recycling nearly 3,500 pounds of gloves. The Illinois program produced more than twice the amount of gloves than the second most successful university.
He added that the university's effort to recycle nitrile gloves compares favorably with the best of the about 60 large commercial/industrial partners of the Kimberly-Clark Professional's RightCycle program. The company included the work of ISTC and the campus' sustainability partners in its 2014 Sustainability Report.
RightCycle is the first large-scale recycling program for non-hazardous laboratory and production waste. RightCycle helps laboratory, production, pharmaceutical and research facilities reduce their solid waste streams by enabling them to recycle non-traditional laboratory waste, such as nitrile gloves, garments, hoods, and masks. The company's role is to produce a robust supply chain from users of its safety glove and other products, all the way to manufacturers who can use them as a raw material.
TOP PHOTO: Present for the awarding of the Santucci Greenovation Award were: (left to right) Blake Ashley, cleanroom professional for Kimberly-Clark; Michael Olinger, housing food stores operations manager, University Housing; Marcy Wright, sourcing and contract administrator, Office of Business and Financial Services; Bryan Johnson, project manager, University Housing; Bart Bartels, technical assistance engineer, Illinois Sustainable Technology Center; Dawn Aubrey, associate director of Housing and Dining Services; Carol H. Strohbeck, assistant director, Dining Services; Morgan Johnson, associate director of sustainability, Facilities and Services; Sheila Anderson, safety specialist, Fisher Scientific.
This year the Greenovation Award was renamed in honor of Chelsea Santucci, a sustainability specialist and an early organizer of RightCycle at Kimberly-Clark who passed away late last year.
As part of the Santucci Award, a bench made of recycled gloves will be placed in the Ikenberry Commons student dining/housing complex. In 2013, the university received a bike rack of recycled plastics now installed at ISTC.