Recycling dollars
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Pennsylvania recycling facility receives grant to recycle polystyrene

Westmoreland Cleanways and Recycling will use a $46,500 grant from the Foam Recycling Coalition to purchase a foam densifier.

September 22, 2020

Westmoreland Cleanways and Recycling (WCR), a nonprofit environmental organization based in southwestern Pennsylvania, has received a $46,500 grant from the Foam Recycling Coalition (FRC), Falls Church, Virginia, to add a foam densifier to its drop-off facility that recovers hard-to-recycle materials.

According to a news release from FRC, WCR oversees recycling activity in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, which has 67 municipalities and more than 151,000 households. The organization opened its first drop-off facility in 2014 to manage hard-to-recycle materials not collected in curbside recycling. Materials accepted include electronics, tires, scrap metal, appliances, fluorescent bulbs/fixtures, used motor oil, lead-acid batteries, glass containers and now polystyrene (PS).

FRC says the funding will enable WCR to purchase and install a high-capacity densifier unit to manage its drop-off foam collection at a new and larger facility the organization opened in May. The densifier will allow WCR to collect any type of foam, including foodservice packaging (e.g., cups, plates, bowls, clamshells and cafeteria trays), other foam food packaging (e.g., egg cartons and meat trays) and block protective packaging foam found with electronics or furniture.

“We are focused on recovering more material. Adding the new services for foam recycling is highly anticipated within the county,” says Ellen Keefe, executive director of WCR.

“Westmoreland Cleanways and Recycliing is providing the necessary services to recycle clean and empty foam packaging that is generated by residents,” says Natha Dempsey, president of the Foodservice Packaging Institute, which oversees the FRC. “WCR sets a great example of how an organization can expand its current facility and operations and educate residents as foam polystyrene recycling continues to increase across North America.”

FRC adds that WCR is the 14th grant recipient since 2015. FRC says the grant is made possible through contributions. FRC aims to improve recycling of postconsumer PS. Member companies include Americas Styrenics; Cascades Canada; Chick-fil-A; Dart Container Corp.; Dyne-A-Pak; Genpak; Hawaii’s Finest Products; Ineos Styrolution America LLC; Nova Chemicals Corp.; Pactiv Foodservice/Food Packaging; Republic Plastics; and Total Petrochemicals and Refining USA.