Georgia county receives foam recycling grant

Money will be used to purchase densifiers for polystyrene foam.

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August 23, 2016
Recycling Today Staff
Material Handling Equipment Plastics

The Foam Recycling Coalition (FRC), part of the Foodservice Packaging Institute, Falls Church, Virginia, has awarded Athens-Clarke County (ACC) in Georgia a $29,000 grant to expand its polystyrene (PS) foam collection program at its Center for Hard to Recycle Materials (CHaRM).

The grant is the first FRC has awarded this year, though the group says it will be announcing additional grant recipients throughout 2016.

Athens-Clarke County Solid Waste Department, serving a population of 125,000, will use the grant money to buy densifiers that compact PS foam into bricks for shipment to PS recyclers and other end markets.

In addition to PS, CHaRM presently accepts paint, lamps, batteries, film plastic, clothing and automotive fluids.

The grant also will allow the facility to add food-grade foam products, such as cups, egg cartons and meat trays, to the materials it accepts and to increase efficiency in the collection, management and transport of postconsumer PS foam. The funding will allow Athens-Clarke County to expand service to large quantity polystyrene generators and free up funding to add other recyclable materials into the center’s program.

"The Athens-Clarke County community has shown a progressive attitude toward material recovery," says Lynn Dyer, president of the Foodservice Packaging Institute. "Their operation has already demonstrated an outstanding ability to recycle a wide array of post-consumer items which makes them an excellent choice for this grant."

"We’re excited and grateful for this award from the Foam Recycling Coalition," says ACC Solid Waste Department Director Suki Janssen. "Athens-Clarke residents have been asking about foam recycling for years, and adding foam to our expanding list of CHaRM items makes perfect sense. Diverting this material to domestic manufacturing is a key component in supporting Georgia’s recovered economy."

Members of the FRC include Americas Styrenics; Cascades Canada ULC; CKF Inc.; Chick-fil-A; Commodore; Convermex; Dart Container Corp.; Dolco Packaging, A Tekni-Plex Co.; Dyne-A-Pak; Genpak; Hawaii Foam Products; NOVA Chemicals Corp.; Pactiv Foodservice/Food Packaging; Shell Chemical LP; Styrolution America; and TOTAL Petrochemicals & Refining USA.