Otsego County, New York, starts polystyrene recycling program
Otsego County, New York, starts polystyrene recycling program.

Otsego County, New York, starts polystyrene recycling program

Foam Recycling Coalition awards county $50,000 grant to complete construction of polystyrene processing center.


Residents in Otsego County, New York, will have the opportunity to recycle polystyrene through a county program thanks to a $50,000 grant from the Foam Recycling Coalition (FRC), Falls Church, Virginia. The county’s program will focus on receiving cups, plates, takeout containers, egg cartons, trays and blocks from local commercial businesses and self-delivery from residents, according to a news release announcing the grant.

The new grant funding allows Otsego County to purchase and install a densifier, finish its polystyrene processing center build-out, collect materials and “focus on education and outreach.”

“We’re excited and grateful for this award from the Foam Recycling Coalition,” says Karen Sullivan, Otsego County’s planning and solid waste director. “Our new polystyrene processing center will divert more material from our landfill, saving county taxes and positively impacting our environment.” 

The county committed to establishing a foam polystyrene recycling program as part of Otsego County’s 2018 Solid Waste Management Plan. The program partners with local nonprofit Arc Otsego, which will provide staffing at the existing ReUse Center. The county will assist with promotion and marketing.

Lynn Dyer, president of the Foodservice Packaging Institute (FPI), Falls Church, Virginia, which houses the coalition says, “Otsego County has shown a progressive attitude toward diverting as much county materials as possible. The county’s latest efforts on foam recycling mean these valuable materials are being recovered instead of landfilled.”

The county, which has about 60,000 residents among 24 communities, supports recycling of traditional materials, while also providing options for batteries, electronics, mattresses, medications and fluorescent lightbulbs.

The grant is made possible through contributions to the FRC, which focuses exclusively on increased recycling of postconsumer polystyrene. Its members include Americas Styrenics, Cascades Canada ULC, Chick-fil-A, Dart Container Corp. and many others.

Otsego County is the 11th grant recipient to receive FRC funding since 2015. More than 3 million additional residents in the U.S. and Canada can recycle polystyrene as a result of FRC grants. Click here to learn more about previous recipients or apply for a grant.