Two Ontario cities resume polystyrene recycling

Two Ontario cities resume polystyrene recycling

Brockton and Hanover receive grants to expand processing capabilities.


The Foam Recycling Coalition, Falls Church, Virginia, has awarded a $9,700 grant to ensure the municipalities of Brockton and Hanover, Ontario, can resume polystyrene (PS) recycling programs.

The two municipalities began collecting postconsumer PS foam in 2007, but the recycling program was suspended 10 years later because of changing markets for the material, the Foam Recycling Coalition reports in a news release. The recycling services will resume with the help of a polystyrene densifier, which compacts collected materials into condensed PS bricks. End markets then recycle the bricks into new products.

“The discontinuation of the agreement to transport materials in 2017 was sudden and unexpected. With this grant from the Foam Recycling Coalition, we found a solution that allows us to begin collecting polystyrene again and bring back this service to our residents,” says Ron Cooper, director of public works for the Town of Hanover, Ontario. 

The waste management departments in Brockton and Hanover will operate the program through the use of community drop-off depots. Businesses and residents can bring foam cups, takeout containers, egg cartons and meat trays, as well as protective foam packaging. The material will then be sent to a central location for densification and turned into new products, such as crown molding, picture frames or receipt spools.

The Canadian Plastics Industry Association provided assistance in connecting the municipalities with the Foam Recycling Coalition’s grant program and is helping with the official kickoff event at the Brockton Recycling Centre May 31.

The municipalities anticipate they will receive material from approximately 17,000 residents. According to a news release from the Foam Recycling Coalition, plans are in place to offer foam collection to neighboring communities as well, which would bring access to more than 63,000 residents.

Lynn Dyer, president of the Foodservice Packaging Institute, Falls Church, Virginia, which houses the coalition, says, “We congratulate both municipalities for their never-give-up focus to once again find a solution for foam recycling. Everyone benefits when these valuable materials are recycled in the communities they serve, instead of going to landfills.”

The grant is made possible through contributions to the Foam Recycling Coalition, which focuses exclusively on increased recycling of postconsumer foam polystyrene. Its members include Americas Styrenics; Cascades Canada ULC; CKF Inc.; Chick-fil-A; Dart Container Corp.; Dyne-A-Pak; Genpak; Hawaii Foam Products; INEOS Styrolution America LLC; NOVA Chemicals Corp.; Pactiv Foodservice/Food Packaging; Republic Plastics; and TOTAL Petrochemicals & Refining USA. 

The Foam Recycling Coalition reports that Brockton/Hanover is the 11th grant recipient to receive Foam Recycling Coalition funding since 2015.