Residents and commercial outlets in Colchester County, Nova Scotia, can soon add polystyrene foam food service packaging, egg cartons, meat trays and protective packaging to their recycling bins, thanks to a $50,000 grant from the Foam Recycling Coalition (FRC), Falls Church, Virginia.
Colchester County will use the grant money to upgrade its facility and purchase equipment that compacts polystyrene foam into bricks prior to transportation to the end markets. The recovered foam will be processed in a material recovery facility owned by the municipality of the County of Colchester. This Kemptown facility, located in the center of Nova Scotia and near the Trans-Canada Highway, also provides processing contracts with neighboring municipalities and waste management authorities.
“Colchester demonstrated to us a strong desire and commitment to recycle foam, which is exactly what we’re looking for from our grant winners,” says Lynn Dyer, president of the Foodservice Packaging Institute (FPI), which houses the coalition. “In particular, their customer communications and outreach plans will highlight how easy it is to recycle and process foam.”
Colchester County is the first recipient outside the U.S. to win a grant from the coalition. The grant program is designed to increase the collection, processing, and marketing of post-consumer polystyrene foam in North America.
“In Colchester County, Nova Scotia, polystyrene foam will no longer be looked upon as the one that got away,” says Wayne Wamboldt, director of waste management for Colchester County. “Although it has long been recognized that polystyrene products are a valuable commodity, the expense of shipping a product to market that is mostly air has deterred the recycling of this material. Now, with recent developments in densifying equipment, it is possible to get recycled polystyrene material to markets in a cost effective manner. With support from the Foam Recycling Coalition, Colchester County is in the process of purchasing equipment and upgrading the Material Recovery Facility to begin recycling polystyrene foam products. In Colchester County, polystyrene will soon be a recyclable material”
The grant is made possible through contributions to the FRC, which focuses exclusively on increased recycling of postconsumer polystyrene foam. Its members include Americas Styrenics; Cascades Canada ULC; CKF Inc.; Chick-fil-A; Commodore; Convermex; D&W Fine Pack; Dart Container Corp.; Dolco Packaging, A Tekni-Plex Company; Dyne-A-Pak; Genpak; Hawaii Foam Products; NOVA Chemicals Corp.; Pactiv Foodservice/Food Packaging; Shell Chemical LP; Styrolution America; and TOTAL Petrochemicals & Refining USA. Additional support of the coalition comes from the EPS Industry Alliance.
The coalition says it will continue to offer grants that promote foam recycling in residential curbside, drop-off and commercial programs. Additional grant recipients will be announced later this year. More information about foam recycling is available at www.fpi.org/recyclefoam.