Staff news

Award for recycling pioneer

A School of Chemistry colleague has received an award for helping launch the UK’s first scheme to recycle scientists' disposable gloves.

Photo of Tim Calder, Waste Management Officer

Waste Management Officer Tim Calder worked with supplier Kimberly Clark to help the School become the first user of the Terracycle Nitrile/Latex recycling scheme.

Since the scheme began in October 2014, more than 350 kilograms of used gloves have been recycled by the School instead of being sent to landfill.

Mr Calder received a Greenovation Award from Kimberly Clark for his pioneering work in successfully implementing the scheme.

The School of Chemistry takes sustainability and waste management very seriously and I am delighted that the initiative to recycle laboratory gloves has been so successful and that we are trailblazers for this scheme within the UK.
Professor Eleanor CampbellHead of the School of Chemistry

Enormous potential

Chemistry students and staff use around 400,000 individual gloves each year made from either natural Latex or synthetic Nitrile.

There has previously been no way of recycling such gloves, which are used in laboratories across the country. Through Terracycle, the gloves are made into new products such as transportation pallets and garden benches.

Mr Calder said that if other schools and the wider science community were to join the scheme, the potential for reducing waste to landfill "would be dramatic".