Alpine Waste and Recycling begins accepting polystyrene foam

Alpine Waste and Recycling begins accepting polystyrene foam

Denver recycler says its new equipment compresses the foam, making it easier to transport and recycle.

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October 26, 2015

Alpine Waste and Recycling, based in Commerce City, Colorado, says it has become the first recycling company in the Denver area to begin accepting polystyrene (PS) foam.

Thanks to a $45,000 grant from the Food Packaging Institute and new technology, Alpine Waste now has a machine in place that compresses the foam into bricks, making it more commercially feasible to transport and recycle in bulk.

The installation of the new machinery was part of the recent expansion and upgrade of the company’s Altogether Recycling Plant in South Adams County. That expansion, with all-new Machinex equipment, increased the plant’s processing capacity by 150 percent, Alpine Waste says.

The foam eligible for recycling includes packaging materials such as egg cartons, meat trays and take-home containers. Alpine took delivery of its new INTCO machinery in late August and spent recent weeks installing, testing and integrating it into the Altogether Recycling single-stream process. Alpine also says it has been working with local businesses that have an abundance of foam packaging material that they want to try to divert from landfills.

“This foam material has caused problems in the waste-processing industry because it takes up so much space in landfills and it take so long to degrade,” says John Griffith, president of Alpine Waste and Recycling. “We’re thrilled to lead the way in Colorado’s efforts to address this problem.”

Griffith says whereas cardboard can degrade in about two months in the soil, a typical foam coffee cup requires centuries to degrade, which is why it’s important to try to keep this material out of the landfill.

Founded in 1999, Alpine Waste and Recycling is a privately held commercial waste, recycling and compost collection company in Colorado.