Disposable Gloves Recycling 🧀: There is an advert on Australian TV at the moment that basically says the one constant of modern life is dirty dishes! When you think about it, there is some truth in that. For every meal we eat from breakfast to supper time before bed, there are always dirty dishes. It is a bit like the old death and taxes anecdote. As Waster loves to think about all things recycling – it got me asking about disposable gloves recycling and whether you can recycle rubber gloves. Additionally, aside from recycling disposable rubber gloves, can you and I recycle latex material, as well?

I really do not know how many disposable gloves the average household would go through each year. But, I am sure it is a lot. Of course, when we are asking if you can recycle rubber gloves we need to look at all the other areas that gloves are used in such as medical professions (dentists, doctors, tattoo parlours etc). And of course, any other tradespeople will require disposable gloves recycling if they are handling toxic or dirty materials.

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In this way, we are talking about rubber gloves, latex gloves, and rubber kitchen gloves being recyclable.

In this series of blogs, we are covering the various solutions for niche recycling provided by TerraCycle through their Zero Waste Boxes. Waster distributes these boxes as TerraCycle is the leading global operator for unusual or hard-to-recycle items such as cigarette butts or disposable gloves recycling.


A little bit about Waster and our Partnership with TerraCycle for ZWBs: Zero Waste Boxes

Waster is an Australian waste management business that provides low-cost waste and recycling collection services for businesses of all sizes but with a focus on the small and medium end of the market.

We do not own landfills and hence have no profit reason to dump at a landfill, unlike other waste companies. See our quiz on how long trash lasts in a landfill.

With our focus on boosting your recycling, we aim to take as much out of your general waste bin and put it in the recycling bin of one kind or another such as rubber gloves recycling.

We distribute TerraCycle boxes through our website, which you can access here.

By using these boxes, you can really take your business recycling to the next level. You can recycle items from snack packaging to media files like CDs etc.


disposable gloves recycling

Disposable gloves recycling using TerraCycle boxes

Waster has partnered with TerraCycle to distribute their Zero Waste boxes – such as this one for disposable gloves.

According to TerraCycle:

“TerraCycle has created a zero-waste solution for disposable gloves. Use this box to recycle your disposable gloves including plastic, nitrile, vinyl and latex gloves.”


How does the box system work for disposable glove recycling?

When you buy a recycling Zero Waste Box box, it is sent to you via direct post. And, once it is full with the appropriate material (i.e. you put your disposable gloves recycling in the box), you post it back to the address provided (with postage paid already).

When you purchase the disposable gloves recycling box – you get the following:

  • Zero Waste Box (used for collecting and shipping)
  • Pre-paid return shipping label (affixed to your Box)
  • Complete processing and recycling of the waste


What can you include in the recycle latex gloves Zero Waste Box?

You can include all types of common rubber or latex gloves for recycling into plastic components.

Latex, nitrile vinyl and plastic gloves.Β  You should not include hair nets, earplugs, and/or lab coats and garments.


What does TerraCycle do with the disposable gloves recycling box contents?

TerraCycle is a global leader in all types of niche recycling and for rubber gloves recycling:

PLASTICS – Plastics are separated by number and melted down. From there, most of our plastics are turned into small pellets. They can be moulded and extruded into unique shapes and products.”


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Can you recycle other latex materials?

Now, you know that we can indeed recycle disposable gloves through TerraCycle. But, what about latex materials, in general? Can we recycle other latex materials? Let me talk about it in this section.

I also need to discuss what latex is for you to better understand this blog. Basically, latex comes from trees. People can extract natural latex rubber from a wide variety of plants, but the most famous of the trees that produce latex is called Hevea brasiliensis, or what we know as the rubber trees.

But, there are latexes that can be man-made. According to Wikipedia, synthetic, artificial latex can be made by polymerising a monomer that has been emulsified with surfactants.

People have long found many ways to create products made from latex. These include items such as gloves, condoms, balloons, paint, toys, and many others.


Yes, you can!

Now, back to the main question, the answer: yes. You can indeed recycle other latex materials. Like disposable gloves recycling, recycling other latex items is possible. Examples include recycling the latex part from mattresses. Recycling facilities turn them into carpet underlay.

Another example includes latex paint; you can also recycle latex paint. However, there are no known recycling facilities in Australia that accept latex paint. Generally, waste management companies, like us, would usually suggest that you throw the latex paint in the general waste bin and recycle the paint can, instead. However, in the US, latex paint can be recycled.Β  According to the Local Hazardous Waste Management Program in King County, Washington, our US readers on or near King County can recycle them at any Take it Back Network paint recycling locations.

But, there are also latex-based materials that cannot be recycled such as latex balloons. The best thing you could do with them is to throw them in your general waste bin. Fortunately, balloons are 100 per cent decomposable. They decompose in landfills for 1 to 3 years, depending on its condition.


Conclusion on disposable gloves and latex recycling

Next time you are doing the washing up or pulling on a pair of latex gloves in the surgery, think about whether you can recycle them or not. Additionally, you can also try to recycle, decompose, or dispose of your other latex-based materials, depending on the type.


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