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Re: [greenyes] Any legitimate styrofoam recycling programsstill out there?


Good question. Here at Eco-Cycle, we've started messing around with "1-day"
and "1-week" collection events of block styrofoam due to the high public
demand to "do something" with all this large white crap that comes inside
the box of so many consumer purchases. We filled up a couple of large
semi's ... can you guess how many pounds of styro it takes to fill a semi?
Only about 1,000 pounds!! So, we trucked it down to a company that creates
virgin styro block in Colorado Springs (100 miles from Boulder?), where they
accepted it since we had kept it EXTREMELY clean (no tape, nada), they
didn't pay us, but they did regrind it to make more block, rather than the
citric liquid melt technique that then makes the material only good for

Clearly, this whole exercise was a "cost" to Eco-Cycle, City of Boulder and
McStain (local company chipped in as a sponsor). So why do it? I think
that the long-term big-picture solution is "producer responsibility" where
the financial, legal and physical management of product/packaging
end-of-life management sits with the original producer. To create that
system, we, the recyclers of the world, need good data and systems to
present as models to help move industry in our direction. With that in
mind, Eco-Cycle created the CHARM a couple of years ago,,, the Center For
Hard To Recycle Materials. It is a staffed public drop-off where we accept
such fun stuff as TV's, E-scrap, hard-bound books, tennis shoes, plastic
bags, cell phones, printer cartridges, and now, periodically, styrofoam. We
charge the public to give us some items, like EOL computers, and that
process stimulates a fantastic education opportunity about "who should pay"?
We are creating the most efficient low-cost systems to keep this stuff out
of the landfill. The hope is that someday, the producers will pay us to
run this program on their behalf. But that is not enough (I can hear Helen
S. now, and I agree with her)... we need a "re-design" incentive component
of the discard management system, and I think that is where a top-down
government approach is needed, similar to the packaging taxes in the EU.
In the USA, I don't hold much hope for that... but it is the correct path to
be upon, and in our small steps forward we must keep this larger vision in

Eric at Eco-Cycle

----- Original Message -----
From: "Pete Pasterz" <ppasterz@no.address>
To: <jstockdale@no.address>; <bettdanse@no.address>
Cc: <greenyes@no.address>
Sent: Monday, March 15, 2004 7:00 AM
Subject: Re: [greenyes] Any legitimate styrofoam recycling programsstill out


Just curious...has Publix, the "central collection agency" or anyone
associated with the program done a life cycle analysis to determine the net
environmental benefit of shipping this light weight payload 1800 miles
across the continent?

Is the claim from the Minn facility that the PROCESS is non-toxic, or that
there are no releases of toxic styrene from the recovered product? If so,
this is puzzling, given the ample evidence of styrene migration from foam
cups into the beverages which they contain.

FOI, what is the name of the Minnesota facility??

Pete Pasterz, Manager
Office of Recycling and Waste Management
Michigan State University
Chair, College and University Recycling Council
National Recycling Coalition

"UNLESS someone like YOU cares a whole awful lot,
nothing is going to get better. It's not." -- The Lorax

>>> Bette Danse <bettdanse@no.address> 03/14/04 09:34PM >>>
The Publix grocery store chain here in Florida has a styrofoam bin in the
front of their stores. The styrofoam containers go to a central collection
agency that ships it to Minnesota where the styrofoam is melted down in a
nontoxic fashion to form recycled peanuts for packaging.

Justin Stockdale <jstockdale@no.address> wrote:
Indeed there are. A firm recently opened a plant in Albuquerque, NM which
blends Styrofoam and concrete to create a life size Lego block for
construction. I do not know what limitations they have regarding food
contamination, but surely there is an issue.
The company is Rastra Inc.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Blair Pollock"
Sent: Monday, February 23, 2004 2:52 PM
Subject: [greenyes] Any legitimate styrofoam recycling programs still out

Once upon a time, there were some styrofoam recycling programs. Are there
any more?

Blair Pollock
Solid Waste Programs Manager
(919) 968-2788
fax: (919) 932-2900
PO Box 17177
Chapel Hill, NC 27516-7177

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