There is a misconception that Expandable PolyStyrene or EPS is not recyclable and that is wrong. EPS recycling is growing stronger every day. EPS is the number “6” recycling plastic and it must be reduced or compacted to make it feasible to ship to a plastics recycler. It has become a coveted raw material for recyclers and they are discovering a wide range of markets for it.
A full trailer load of loosely stacked EPS foam will only weigh approximately 2000 pounds. After the foam is run through a compactor or densifier 40,000 pounds or more can go on that same trailer and now it is cost effective for shipping. A screw compactor can take a 1 pound per cubic foot piece of EPS and reduce the volume to as much as 20 pounds per cubic foot. This compactor or densifier can also process other types of foam.
There needs to be bigger push for all types of recycling, EPS included. It’s plain and simple, recycling still costs more than landfilling in many locations – it’s all about the cost.
So how do we curb the landfilling? Just like we do for alcohol, cigarettes and gambling, we create a sin tax that would increase the cost of landfilling. This tax money is then used for recycling efforts: setting up recycling locations, paying workers and purchasing equipment, like the EPS compactor.
By David Biello
Bacteria are everywhere, silently going about their business of breaking down cellulose, fermenting foods or fixing nitrogen in the soil, among a host of other activities. Given their ubiquity and diversity of functions, biotechnologists have been searching for new uses for different strains of the microscopic organisms, such as consuming oil spills or even capturing images. Now biologists at the University College Dublin in Ireland have found that a strain of Pseudomonas putida can exist quite happily on a diet of pure styrene oil–the oil remnant of superheated Styrofoam–and, in the process, turn the environmental problem into a useful, biodegradable plastic. Read more
By AMHERST, Mass
If you’re used to getting your take out food or coffee in a styrofoam container, that could soon be changing in Amherst.
At the end of this month, the town could approve a ban on polystyrene food containers.
The town of Amherst Recycling and Refuse Management Committee.. along with the Amherst Leaque of Women Voters and the Hitchcock Center of Environment all teamed up to back the issue. Read more
PS 6 Styrofoam, also known as Polystyrene, commonly takes the form of packing material, arriving in parcels to households across the globe. Unlike paper packing, Polystyrene cannot be thrown away and expected to break down quickly in the earth’s soil. The eco-friendly option is to recycle the Polystyrene.
Check the foam for a triangle symbol with a 6 stamped in its middle to identify that the product is Polystyrene. The triangle represents the recycling logo, and the number 6 identifies the product as Polystyrene.
Go to Earth911.com. This is a website that specializes in finding recycling centers for specific products in any given area of the USA. The website is dedicated to the topic of recycling and provides much information on the easiest way to recycle particular products.
Enter “Polystyrene” into the “Find Recycling Centers For…” box at Earth911.com. To the right of that box, enter your location in the “Near…” box. Click the “Search” button to see a list of all the recycling centers near you that accept Polystyrene.
Drive, bike or bus the Polystyrene to the recycling center recommended by Earth911. If this is not an option, the Alliance of Foam Packing Recyclers has a mail-back program for residents of the U.S. At epspackaging.org, one can find a link to the nearest mail-back location where the Polystyrene can be sent. There will be a small cost for postage, but most likely a smaller amount than what would be spent on gas driving to the recycling center.