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How to choose styrofoam recycling equipment

Styrofoam recycling equipment has made significant leaps in the last decade, making the recycling process easier, faster and more cost effective. While taking into consideration the types of styrofoam you will be processing, as well as your facility and its surroundings, another main consideration in equipment selection is staff. Many systems require only one person to dump the styrofoam on a conveyor, which automatically feeds the styrofoam to a grinder, which then feeds into a hopper. Once the hopper is full, the densifier will turn-on automatically and start generating logs of densified material, which can be stacked on a pallet. Hasswell can offer this kind of styrofoam recycling system. Please contact Jossie at 86-20-87566110 for detailed information.

Styrofoam Recycling Machine With Conveyor

Styrofoam Recycling Machine With Conveyor

The result: the only labor required is to unload the collected styrofoam, remove any contaminate, and then stack the densified logs on a pallet. Choosing a system that keeps staff costs low can make all the difference in establishing a successful operation.

Making the space

It’s possible to create an efficient system in only 85 sq. ft. of space. If space is limited, some grinders can be housed separately from the densifier, and a blower can then be used to transport the ground foam through a tube to a hopper up to 100 feet away from the grinder.


Recycling Mystery: Styrofoam

It’s the eternal question: Can I recycle styrofoam?

What is styrofoam?

It’s everywhere: It holds your food, secures items in packages, provides insulation in homes and it’s even in your bike helmet. It’s also known as plastic #6, which you’ve seen used in plastic cups and CD and DVD cases.

Facts about Styrofoam

Only about five percent of a foam package (ie. Styrofoam) is polystyrene. The rest is air.

Styrofoam has many benefits, including insulating quality that helps keep food warm. It is also of light weight, has high durability and strength, making it an excellent packaging material.

Because it’s so lightweight, Styrofoam takes up 0.01 percent of the total municipal solid waste stream by weight, but as you may have guessed, its volume is a greater problem than its weight. It takes up space in landfills and doesn’t biodegrade. This situation adds on to the problem of disposing styrofoam.

The process of recycling Styrofoam

The process of recycling Styrofoam involves feeding the collected Styrofoam through conveyor belts into a shredding machine.

The shredded Styrofoam is then transferred to a plastic extruder where the foam is exposed to heat and pressure to melt the Styrofoam. Subsequently, the melted Styrofoam passes out through a small outlet at the end of the extruder and solidifies into a continuous form.

This form of Styrofoam can then be easily transported to the required factories for remolding (again using heat and pressure) into its new Styrofoam products.


Recycling changes in works

Recycling collection will come a few days earlier for some residents.

Following Christmas, those looking to recycle styrofoam can do so for free from Dec. 27 to Jan. 4 at Venture Training or Interior Freight and Bottle Depot.

Styrofoam is also accepted year round at these locations and at the Greater Vernon and Armstrong Spallumcheen Recycling and Disposal Facilities for a $3 fee. Container glass is accepted free of charge at all of these locations as well as Chasers Bottle Depot in Vernon and the Enderby Bottle Depot – just look for the outdoor recycling bins.

Collection days will remain the same for all blue bag routes during the holidays with the exception of the following collection days:

Wednesday, Dec. 25 will be moved to Saturday, Dec. 21

Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014 will be moved to Saturday, Dec. 28.

This will affect the following collection routes:

Old Kamloops Road/Blue Jay area/Kal view area and City of Armstrong

Alexis Park/downtown area

Regular collection days will resume for these areas in January 2014.

Those wondering what the pickup schedule looks like in 2014 can visit or the Regional District of North Okanagan office in January. Traditionally, RDNO delivers recycling calendars, but they will not be delivered for 2014 due to upcoming changes to residential recycling. The collection will not change in the first five months of 2014, but could change in May when Multi Material BC is scheduled to be implemented.

All RDNO recycling and disposal facilities are open regular winter hours (go to for hours of operation) during the holidays with the exception of Christmas Day and New Year’s Day when all facilities will be closed.


Approaches to Styrofoam Recycling

How to Recycle Styrofoam

Styrofoam, also known as EPS, is widely used as containers, packagings and thermal insulation material in buildings. It is hard to break down and takes up too much room in landfill plants, therefore, the recycling of styrofoam is recommended. The following pictures are the recycling steps.

1. Identify products made from Styrofoam by looking for the number 6 inside a recycling triangle
Identify EPS Products
2. Keep polystyrene products to reuse. Some of the most common uses for reusing Styrofoam are:

  • Craft projects.
  • Floaters for fishing.
  • Drainage in potted plants.
  • Creating sets for theatrical productions.
  • Model train communities.
  • Stuffing bean bags or bean bag chairs.
  • Packaging for shipping.Reuse Styrofoam Products
    3. Check with local shipping businesses to see if they can reuse Styrofoam shipping materials such as peanuts in their shipping.
    Check Local Shipping Business
    4. Contact your local recycling program to see if anyone knows of Styrofoam recycling programs or drop off sites in your community.
    Contact Local Recycling Program
    5. Recycle polystyrene in many grocery stores
    Publix Grocery Stores
    6. Search for Styrofoam recycling programs
    Enter to find suitable styrofoam recycling programs. Styrofoam compactor made by Hasswell will reduce styrofoam volume by 50 times for easier transportation and further application.

    Styrofoam Compactor

    Styrofoam Compactor

    7. Mail polystyrene to the Alliance of Foam Packaging Recyclers.
    Mail to AFPR
    8. Start a Styrofoam recycling program if your business deals with a large quantity of polystyrene. Walmart is one example of a company with an EPS recycling program, using polystyrene to make picture frames.
    Start a Recycling Program
    EPS recycling can be used to make new packaging materials.
    Find an EPS recycler through the Alliance of Foam Packaging Recycling
    If you locate a Styrofoam recycling program, but don’t process much, consider setting up bins to collect polystyrene.

Fort St. John Eco-Depot now Styrofoam friendly

Styrofoam has been a nuisance in landfills for a long time, but now the ECO Depot in Fort St. John is accepting Styrofoam for recycling. Pieces of Styrofoam are broken down then heat and pressure compresses the pellets into a solid block in the facility’s new bailer. In it’s new state the Styrofoam can then be reused to make things like cups, packaging, and meat trays. Koelman Marshall works at the Eco-Depot and he says that since they introduced the bailer they have seen a strong response from the community.

Bailer for Styrofoam Recycling

Bailer for Styrofoam Recycling

“We’ve been accepting Styrofoam now I believe for the past four months. We’ve had incredible huge volumes if Styrofoam coming in. We’ve actually had a bail with our bigger bailer just to make room for the Styrofoam, and then we’ll have to go back and sort that and bail it later on just due to the room.”

When put in a landfill Styrofoam can take hundreds of year to break down, and with the new bailer Marshall says it will greatly reduce the amount of Styrofoam going to the dump.

“Well it definitely saves on landfill for sure. Just to do one sized cubes of blocks, which is roughly 500 pounds it took about 150 bags to 200 bags, roughly.”

The Eco Depot works closely with the Northern Environmental Action team, and Tammy Harab with NEAT says the introduction of this bailer makes recycling Styrofoam in the north economically feasible.

“Before it was just not cost effective to ship it because it’s so light, but because they can compress it now it can be shipped out to the recyclers and turned into other things.”

This bailer goes a long way in increasing the types of materials the Eco Depot can handle. Harab says they will keep an eye out for future recycling options to introduce in the north.

“We have a great relationship with Eco-Depot so we’re constantly talking and figuring out. The government of British Columbia and their stewards are really good about keeping people informed and notified. So it’s keeping up with the media, and the emails, and the letters, and the partners, and keeping all of that information in check and it’s available to us in the North.”

Styrofoam Recycling Solution

Why We Need Waste Styrofoam Recycling Line?

Styrofoam contains 95 -98 % of air and 2-5% of  Styrofoam. It is light in weight and difficult to handle. Moreover, you need pay high transportation and disposing costs for landfill.  Styrofoam is 100% recyclable and recycled Styrofoam can it be made into coat hangers, CD/video cassettes, plant pots, picture frame, decoration profile, etc.

Styrofoam Recycling

Styrofoam Recycling Process

At present, the recycling of styrofoam basically follows the following process:

Compaction – Styrofoam products are fed to a compactor in order to reduce its volume. Some compactor systems have a compaction ratio of up to 50:1, which means that it can reduce the volume by up to 98%.

Shredding – Larger pieces are shredded into flakes. Packaging “peanuts” – small styrofoam pieces used to cushion fragile items.

Melting/Extrusion – The flakes are forced through pelletizing extruders where they are heated and melted, then allowed to cool in order to solidify. The resulting material can then be used, through reheating and melting, to produce clothes hangers, picture frames, DVD cases and numerous other plastic products.

1. Trays of styrofoam are
compacted for shipment.

EPS Compactor for EPS recyclingcompacted eps

2. The compaction of styrofoam allows for a reduction by 30-50 times the number of shipments needed to move the material.

transport EPS

3. The compacted blocks of styrofoam are shredded into flakes in preparation for introduction into the pelletizing extruder.

Single Shaft Shredder

4. The shredded flakes of styrofoam are converted back into the polystyrene pellet.

Single Screw Extruder


5. The styrofoam pellets are mixed with additives and color in the compounding pelletizer line and re-pelletized prior to introduction into the profile lines for profile production.

Twin Screw Extruder

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