How to recycle latex gloves

latex gloves image by Wendy Lea Morgan from

Though the phrase reduce, reuse, recycle has become a common slogan in America, Americans may not always think past the usual recyclables --- like paper or glass --- and consider the possibility of recycling other materials, like latex. Though not all recyclers will accept latex, more and more recycling companies do.

In addition to recycling companies, there are several ways to recycle latex. By recycling latex, you ensure that you are not contributing to the large amount of unused items or garbage on the planet.

Determine the wear-and-tear status of your latex gloves. If your latex gloves are household kitchen gloves and are in "like new" or "gently used" condition, your local Goodwill will accept your latex gloves and resell them. If your latex gloves are medical gloves and the box hasn't been opened, you can donate the gloves to Goodwill or to a medical charity.

Determine who your local recycling centre is. (Please see Resources for one directory option.) Call your recycling centres and ask if they accept latex gloves. If they do, ask about their process for pickup or delivery. If the recycling centre accepts latex gloves and provides pickup services, leave your gloves in a clearly marked container or recycling container on the curb by your home; if the recycling centre requires you drop off your latex gloves, follow the recycling center's directions, such as only drop off items during business hours.

Put the gloves in your compost pile or give them to a friend for his compost pile. According to the Balloon Council, latex is a 100 per cent natural material that will biodegrade almost immediately under natural conditions, such as exposure to direct sunlight and water. Natural microorganisms present in your compost pile will help speed the process along.

Mail your latex gloves to a company like Greenworx (see Resources), a San Francisco-based recycling company. If your latex gloves are no longer usable, you don't have a compost pile and you don't have a local recycling centre that recycles latex, Greenworx will accept your latex gloves via post and will recycle them for you.