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RE: [greenyes] Any legitimate styrofoam recycling programsstill o ut there?

Hello all,

There are a number of expanded polystyrene (EPS) recycling efforts in
California, primarily of non-food grade material. Typically, the material
is put through a densifier to make it more economical (and less polluting)
to transport. Hewlett Packard in Roseville, California, for example has
such a program. The cost savings in trash reduction by removing the
packaging from the computer monitors and other equipment they receive helped
to justify the purchase of a fairly large scale densifier.

Some EPS is used to make packaging such as the figure eight Freeflow
Packaging "peanuts", and some goes into other products such as plastic
lumber. The biggest market problem for food grade EPS is food

Dart Container Corporation has a recycling program for post-consumer food
grade polystyrene. Larger generators can lease a densifier if they purchase
Dart products and Dart will collect the densified material. I don't know of
any programs with Dart at the moment, but you can check these websites for
more info and "do the math" to see if this program will work for your
situation. The last of these three links lists polystyrene recycling

Another option for food service ware is to buy compostable products and
compost them with your food. More and more of these products are entering
the market. The technology ranges from wooden coffee stirrers and unlined
paper plates to biopolymers, and in many cases it makes sense to purchase
products from several different vendors to make as much of your "disposable"
stream compostable. Of course, this only makes sense if your are composting
the material, and it is important to work with your processor as well as
your food service people to ensure the products you are considering are
acceptable. While technologies, prices, and products are improving, there
are still a few questionably "compostable" products on the market, and some
function better than others.

We maintain list of suppliers of compostable food service ware and bags at
this site:

Hope this is helpful!

Terry S. Brennan
Integrated Waste Management Specialist
California Integrated Waste Management Board
phone (916) 341-6578
fax (916) 319-7474
e-mail tbrennan@no.address

Zero Waste - You make it happen!

-----Original Message-----
From: Stephen N Weisser [mailto:steve1092@no.address]
Sent: Monday, March 15, 2004 6:32 PM
To: Pete Pasterz; jstockdale@no.address; bettdanse@no.address
Cc: greenyes@no.address
Subject: RE: [greenyes] Any legitimate styrofoam recycling programsstill
out there?

Thanks for raising these points. My preference is to avoid polystyrene foam
in the first place and to use alternatives (unbleached paper) which are most
often easier to recycle anyway.

All other concerns aside, I admit that I have a major thing against foam
containers and plastic bags - cause I get tired of seeing them all over the
streets and sidewalks.

I am also noticing that more and more products - such as electronics - which
were once packaged in foam are now packaged using molded
paper/paperboard...Which again, is probably easier to recycle in most
communities. I know if I get a shipment in the mail I'd much rather recycle
shredded or crumpled paper than have to deal with a bunch of foam peanuts -
which end up all over your living room after you take something out of the

Otherwise, I applaud these folks for their efforts.

Steve Weisser

-----Original Message-----
From: Pete Pasterz [mailto:ppasterz@no.address]
Sent: Monday, March 15, 2004 9:01 AM
To: jstockdale@no.address; bettdanse@no.address
Cc: greenyes@no.address
Subject: Re: [greenyes] Any legitimate styrofoam recycling programsstill
out there?


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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