There are just a few steps to using the Zero Waste Pallet Program, starting with ordering and implementing the program. It is open to anyone using gloves in clean rooms, research laboratories and more applications.
In accordance with legal guidelines, TerraCycle cannot accept medical waste, such as material contaminated with blood or bodily fluids or wastes from health care facilities, hospitals, home care, doctors' offices, dental offices, blood banks, veterinary clinics or research laboratories.
Customers who purchase and use single-use disposable gloves can order a pallet from Thomas Scientific. The order is shipped directly to the lab placing the order.
Upon receipt of the Zero Waste Pallet, employees set up the collection station in a high-traffic location in the laboratory. The PPE (such as disposable face masks, visors, disposable gloves, ear plugs, beard nets, hair nets, safety glasses or disposable garments) are collected in the Zero Waste Box. Once the box is full, it gets sealed and sent back to TerraCycle using the prepaid return label that is located on the back of each box.
When the pallet is full, customers submit a Ready to Ship form to their Thomas Scientific Representative for approval before shipping to TerraCycle for recycling. Freight shipments have to be approved before shipping because the company's material recovery facility (MRF) requires notice before receiving bulk shipments of materials.
When the shipment arrives at a dedicated TerraCycle MRF, always in the country of collection, it is checked in and weighed. All Zero Waste Boxes are quarantined on arrival for a minimum of 72 hours to protect team members handling the waste.
The TerraCylce team visually inspects the waste for visible contamination and consolidates it into a bulk format to be transported for processing at our various third-party facilities that specialize in processing the waste into recycled materials.
TerraCycle stores and aggregates the collected PPE waste until the necessary volumes for processing have been achieved. The waste is then sorted into categories based on material composition (rubbers, metals, non-woven plastic, elastane, etc.) by utilizing a wide array of sorting technologies, including manual sorting, size separation, sink/float, optical, air density, gravity, magnetic and others.
The different material types are then sent to third-party processing partners that recycle the materials into usable forms (i.e., non-woven plastics are recycled into plastic pellets and granules). Gloves are processed into a rubberized powder that is used for flooring tiles, playground surface covers and even athletic fields.
The resulting recycled material is used by third parties to manufacture a variety of new products, including outdoor furniture, plastic shipping pallets, outdoor decking, watering cans, storage containers, bins, and tubes for construction applications, among other goods.