Last Updated APRIL 2024

The RightCycle™ Program: Pioneering Sustainability Through Recycling

A Conversation with Lisa Charles, RightCycle Specialist

Explore The RightCycle Program, the first of its kind in recycling non-hazardous personal protective equipment (PPE) and polypropylene wipes. Learn how this manufacturer-led initiative can empower your business to make a substantial impact on sustainability goals and streamline your waste management efforts.

In this article, we'll cover:

In today's rapidly evolving corporate landscape, sustainability has transcended being merely a buzzword; it's now an indispensable pillar for organizational success. Leading the charge are sustainability programs like RightCycle by Kimberly-Clark Professional®, an innovative program revolutionizing waste management by transforming discarded materials into new consumer goods.

What truly sets this program apart is its commitment to ensuring every customer's success, with personalized support provided by a RightCycle Specialist. This program is the first of its kind, tailored to recycle non-hazardous PPE and polypropylene wipes, marking a significant step forward in sustainability efforts.

Today, we are pleased to speak with Lisa Charles, our expert in sustainability and dedicated RightCycle Specialist. Lisa's role involves guiding customers through the complexities of recycling with the RightCycle program, ensuring a smooth transition and meaningful impact.

Challenge of Integrating Sustainability


What challenges do companies face when integrating recycling and sustainability practices into their business operations?


Sustainability can mean different things to different people. Businesses aim to weave sustainability into their daily operations, but implementing new practices across the board can feel like a big mountain to climb. It calls for a great deal of internal change management.

Even though everyone understands the importance of sustainability, challenges can occur during implementation. Our goal is to make this transition smoother by collaborating closely with the organization's sustainability leaders, who are usually already champions of internal change.

Initial costs often raise concerns when adopting new sustainable practices. But it's important to weigh the long-term return on investment through improved recycling. Efficiencies in waste management can generate cost savings over time, enhance brand reputation and reduce environmental impact.

Efficiencies in waste management can generate cost savings over time, enhance brand reputation and reduce environmental impact.

Role of Innovation in Recycling


Can you elaborate on the significance of innovation in recycling and its impact on enhancing corporate recycling efforts?


Recycling is all about innovation! You can’t have one without the other. It’s thinking of something once considered “trash” and giving it new life.

Innovation can support:

  • Enhancing waste management efficiency through improved sorting, processing and recycling practices
  • Leveraging waste tracking and analytics to monitor progress and discover areas for improvement
  • Promoting close collaboration with all players in the recycling ecosystem

The right partnerships drive innovation. We are fortunate to have excellent external partners and are continuously exploring new ways to evolve our program.

The Heart of The RightCycle Program


Could you give us an overview of The RightCycle Program and what sets it apart?


"RightCycle stands out as the first manufacturer-led program for recycling non-hazardous PPE and polypropylene wipes. Our in-house program gives us the flexibility to pivot quickly to meet growing customer needs."

RightCycle stands out as the first manufacturer-led program for recycling non-hazardous PPE and polypropylene wipes. Our in-house program gives us theflexibility to pivot quickly to meet growing customer needs.

What sets the program apart is our commitment to transparency. For example, we collaborate with partners who welcome end-users for tours to showcase the program'sbenefits and ease of use. We offer self-learning resources so customers can access information independently, although personalized support is available when needed.

Our goal is to ensure all customers succeed with the program, with content accessible to everyone, even those not yet part of the program. Tutorials are also provided foreasy sign-up if customers prefer a self-guided approach.

A point of pride is our program's continuous evolution. We actively gather feedback from our sales team and customers to identify opportunities for improvements, striving to better serve everyone.


What is the key takeaway about The RightCycle Program that you want customers to understand?


One word: Transparency. Customers have the power to track their landfill diversion efforts effortlessly. Thanks to our partnership with Wastebits, this information is readily accessible on the platform, empowering customers to communicate their sustainability endeavors to stakeholders whenever needed.

Utilizing Technology to Aid in Recycling


Could you discuss how The RightCycle Program incorporates technology for better recycling practices?


We use technology in two ways. First, we partner with recyclers who utilize advanced technology at their facilities, transforming waste into plastic pellets for new consumer goods. This cutting-edge technology is impressive.

Secondly, by integrating Wastebits into our program, our customers gain instant access to their waste manifests. This not only ensures better regulatory compliance, but also provides stakeholders with clear visibility into the program's return on investment.

Supporting Your Sustainability Goals


What additional support does Kimberly-Clark Professional offer to help customers meet their sustainability objectives through RightCycle?


We provide regular training sessions for our sales team to ensure they fully understand the program. This enables them to act as knowledgeable consultants, offering comprehensive support to customers so they can more effectively achieve their sustainability goals.

While the specialist role is optional, it helps to move the needle. I engage directly with customers to address any questions and provide hands-on guidance for seamless implementation. I've assisted customers by sharing insights from other RightCycle users and offering personalized visual aids on-site.

For example, in cases where an industrial customer faces issues with a particular wiper, I create visuals that differentiate acceptable (e.g., "wiper A") from unacceptable items (e.g., "wiper B"). These customized visuals greatly benefit on-site staff.

It's the little touches we implement to simplify success as much as possible.

Onboarding and Customer Support


In your role, how do you assist customers during the onboarding process and address the pain of switching?


First and foremost, I let customers know there is a RightCycle team to support them. I can assist with the entire onboarding process, from education to helping them get set up in Wastebits. We also offer educational videos and presentations if they prefer to self-serve. My primary responsibility is to guarantee customers receive tailored support.

Another important aspect is providing customer feedback during program implementation. For instance, if a customer consistently sends items that cannot be recycled to our partners, I inform them and help make necessary adjustments.

Customers appreciate this assistance and our program's supportive approach. We aim to help customers navigate the process without penalizing them for mistakes.

Impact on Landfill Diversion Goals


What impact has The RightCycle Program had in aiding businesses to achieve their goals of zero landfill waste?


The numbers speak for themselves. Since its inception in 2011, RightCycle has enrolled over 1,154 customers and diverted nearly 2,300 metric tons of waste — that's equivalent to the weight of 560 African elephants. In 2023 alone, we diverted 325 metric tons or 716,500 pounds of waste from reaching landfills.

Our program embraces customers of all scales, from large to small. On average, each customer diverted about 2000 lbs. of PPE waste from landfills in 2023 alone.

Since its inception in 2011, RightCycle has enrolled over 1,154 customers and diverted nearly 2,300 metric tons of waste — that's equivalent to the weight of 560 African elephants.

Success of RightCycle

The RightCycle Program not only addresses the environmental concerns of today, but also pioneers solutions for a more sustainable tomorrow. From handling massive amounts of waste diversion to offering personalized customer support, The RightCycle Program embodies the change that CSR-driven businesses seek.

Ready to learn how your business can reduce its environmental impact and work toward achieving your landfill diversion goals?

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