Plastic Recycling Inc. (PRI), Indianapolis, has brokon ground on a plant that will recycle polystyrene (PS) and expanded polystyrene (EPS). The facility, slated to be operational by early 2015, will process postconsumer foam cups, foam take-out containers and other used PS and EPS materials collected through curbside programs across the country.
PRI says the facility will employ 25 people initially and produce 25 million pounds per year, with room for growth. The company adds that it will work closely with material recovery facilities (MRFs) throughout the area to guarantee a steady flow of material.
“We currently recycle about 60 million pounds of foam and rigid polystyrene materials annually, but we have the capacity to do so much more,” says Alan Shaw, PRI owner. “The residential recycling stream has been largely untapped by our competitors, and we view it as a tremendous source for more of this valuable material.”
He continues, “In 2012 we attended the FPI’s (Foodservice Packaging Institute) conference aimed at increasing the recovery of foodservice fast food containers and approached Dart about our interest in recycling more polystyrene materials. We are anxious to partner with cities like New York City and Chicago that have expressed an interest in recycling their foam.”
PRI’s partner in the project is Dart Container Corp., Mason, Michigan. The two companies have collaborated on a collection program for postconsumer PS and EPS materials as well as on the plant, which combines PRI’s experience in recycling facility management with Dart’s experience in washing technology.
The collection programs and new plant will greatly increase the volume of PS materials recycled each year, PRI says.
“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,” says Michael Westerfield, corporate director of Dart’s recycling program. “We hope to capitalize on their expertise so the recycling of dirty foam cups and containers can continue to expand.”
More information about PRI’s capabilities and national reach is available at http://plastic-recycling.net.
More information on plastic foam recycling is available at www.homeforfoam.com.