Indianapolis based recycling firm, Plastic Recycling, Inc (PRI) is to open a new plastics recycling facility in the city dedicated specifically to the recycling of post-consumer foam cups, foam take-out containers and other used polystyrene materials collected through kerbside pick-up programs across the country.
The new recycling facility, slated to be fully operational by the end of the first quarter in 2015, is expected greatly enhance the ability for local governments to launch recycling efforts to remove rigid polystyrene as well as expanded polystyrene (EPS), often referred to as Styrofoam, from the waste stream and generate revenue.
Currently, there are a number of cities in California that are aggressively recycling polystyrene, while other communities are actively investigating expanding recycling efforts to include foam. In addition, NYC is expected to test foam recycling methods this year, as required by local law.
According to Dart Container, The facility will initially employ 25 people and have a name plate capacity of 25 million pounds (11,300 metric tonnes) per year.
The company added that the plant has been designed to allow for growth, and will focus on recycling dirty post-consumer EPS foam and rigid PS from material recycling facilities (MRFs) that draw their material from residential recycling programs and it will also have access to rail which will reduce the environmental impacts of shipping.
PRI also recycles post-consumer and post-industrial foam from around the US.
“We currently recycle about 60 million pounds of foam and rigid polystyrene materials annually but we have the capacity to do so much more,” said PRI’s owner, Alan Shaw. “The residential recycling stream has been largely untapped.”
The partnership grew out of a chance meeting at a conference hosted by the Foodservice Packaging Institute, according to Brandon Shaw, PRI’s marketing manager.
“In 2012 we attended the FPI’s conference aimed at increasing the recovery of foodservice fast food containers and approached Dart about our interest in recycling more polystyrene materials,” said Shaw.
“We are anxious to partner with cities like New York City and Chicago that have expressed an interest in recycling their foam,” he continued.
Michael Westerfield, corporate director of the recycling program at Dart added: “We have learned a great deal about recycling foam since we first began the process in 1990 and are excited to partner with PRI on this new venture.”
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