Since October 2016, one New Jersey county has processed more than 4,000 pounds of polystyrene foam for recycling. Sussex County, in an effort to save landfill space, launched a foam recovery initiative with assistance from a pioneering recycling company. Foam Cycle produces self-contained densifiers that process polystyrene foam for recycling and reduce the material’s volume by 95%.
“Our goal is to get municipalities, schools, and hospitals to purchase our system to densify foam while reducing [their] carbon footprint and finding another way to get value from their solid waste,” said Foam Cycle’s sales coordinator Beth Coleman.
The company also helped match Sussex County with a manufacturer that uses recycled foam to make picture frames.
“We would like to be part of the initiative to use green innovation to reduce polystyrene from landfills,” said Coleman. “So we are involved all the way up to the repurposing by connecting recyclers with end use markets.”
Foam Cycle is hoping that their model can be duplicated in other areas. As cities and counties around the country discuss foam bans, Foam Cycle proves that there are more effective plans of action for polystyrene foam. Aside from picture frames, properly recycled polystyrene foam can be used to make everyday products like interior crown molding, rulers, garden nursery trays, and ballpoint pens.
Curbside foam recycling is available in some communities in the country, but setups like Foam Cycle’s in Sussex County could be the future for foam collecting. Foam Cycle has already been awarded an Excellence in Recycling award from the EPS Industry Alliance. As they continue to innovate in the foam recycling sector, their influence will continue to grow.