JANUARY 2009

Kimberly-Clark offers zero-landfill option for disposal of industrial wipers

Kimberly-Clark Professional has launched a partnership with Safety-Kleen to provide its customers with safe disposal options for used WypAll wipers, including a zero-landfill, waste-to-energy option.

As part of this program, customers can have their used wipers delivered to a waste-to-energy facility for energy recovery through incineration, thereby diverting the wiper waste from a landfill. Or they can select a second option: proper disposal of wipers in a landfill.

The Safety-Kleen disposal service provides Kimberly-Clark Professional customers with either a 30 or 55 gallon drum for the accumulation, storage and transportation of used WypAll wipers. The wipers are picked up by request or via a prearranged service schedule. Safety-Kleen handles all required shipping forms and manifests and then transports the used wipers for proper disposal in accordance with all federal, state and local regulations.

“There are many reasons why customers may prefer disposable wipers to reusable laundered shop towels,” adds Nedrow. “Health and safety issues for workers may be one of them.”

An independent study found that even when “freshly laundered” these towels may contain oil and grease, and elevated levels of heavy metals, such as lead. The study showed how elevated levels of heavy metals on shop towels can get onto hands and then inadvertently into the mouth, where they might be ingested.

In addition to being a potential health and safety issue for workers, reusable laundered shop towels are also responsible for 30 percent more landfilled solid waste than their disposable counterparts. Disposable wipers, on the other hand, contribute only one-tenth of one percent of the nation’s landfilled waste.

The laundering of reusable shop towels is also responsible for as much as 95 percent of organic, inorganic and metal contaminants in the wastewater of industrial laundries. And it is estimated that 80 percent of the 13 million pounds of hazardous contamination industrial laundries discharge into municipal sewer systems every year comes from the wastewater of laundered shop towels.