Florida county receives $50,000 grant to recycle foam
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Florida county receives $50,000 grant to recycle foam

The Foam Recycling Coalition grant will help Collier County to buy and install a foam densifier to recycle postconsumer polystyrene.

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October 28, 2020

The Foam Recycling Coalition, Falls Church, Virginia, has awarded Collier County, Florida, with a $50,000 grant to launch a program to recycle expanded polystyrene (EPS) through the county’s drop-off collection sites. According to a news release from the Foodservice Packaging Institute (FPI), which formed the Foam Recycling Coalition, Collier County’s new program will focus on receiving foam food trays, colored foam and white bulk packaging from local commercial businesses and residents.

FPI says the grant funding has allowed Collier County to purchase and install a foam densifier, train its employees and begin community education and outreach for the program.

“We’re excited to receive this grant from the Foam Recycling Coalition,” says Taylor Sawatzky, project manager for Collier County’s Solid & Hazardous Waste Management division. “Our new foam densifier will allow us to collect this new material from our five county sites, providing more recycling access for our residents and allowing the county to divert more material from our landfill.”

According to FPI, Collier County is one of the largest counties by land size in the state of Florida and serves about 381,000 residents. The county’s Solid & Hazardous Waste Management division manages commercial and residential solid waste functions, including operating five recycling centers, one transfer station, one hazardous materials collection center and one landfill. At most locations, residents and businesses can bring cardboard, batteries, oil, gasoline, metal and now foam PS products.

“Collier County has shown a progressive approach toward diverting as much material as possible from disposal,” says Natha Dempsey, president of the Foodservice Packaging Institute. “The latest efforts in pursuing foam recycling will allow these valuable materials to be recovered from residents and businesses instead of being thrown away.”

Collier County is the 15th grant recipient to receive Foam Coalition Recycling funding since 2015, according to FPI. The institute reports that more than 4 million additional residents in the U.S. and Canada can recycle PS as a result of Foam Coalition Recycling grants.

FPI says the Foam Recycling Coalition grant is made possible through contributions to the coalition, which focuses on increased recycling of postconsumer PS. Members of the coalition include Americas Styrenics, Cascades Canada ULC, CKF Inc., Chick-fil-A, Dart Container Corp., Dolco Packaging, Dyne-A-Pak, Genpak, Ineos Styrolution America LLC, Nova Chemicals Corp., Pactiv Foodservices/Food Packaging, Republic Plastics and Total Petrochemicals & Refining USA.

The coalition offers details about its grant program here.