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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

Styrofoam Cups: Ban or Recycle?

By Dr Joseph S Maresca  

Major municipalities like New York and others in the United States face the prospect of citizens creating a growing amount of trash because of population increases, wasteful product packaging, and materials which defy decomposition.

Styrofoam cups are an example of inorganic materials which defy easy styrofoam cupsbreakdown for recycling purposes. Seattle has banned these styrofoam cups with cities like New York likely soon to follow. Generally speaking, organically based materials may be disposed of more easily by natural processes like composting.

Right now, the restaurant industry in New York City is gearing up to thwart an effort by legislators to ban styrofoam cups. Continue reading

Passing on Styrofoam

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg proposed a ban on expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam food packaging, which is commonly referred to by the Dow trademark Styrofoam, in February.

In a Bloomberg News article, the mayor describes the material as “something that we know is environmentally destructive and that may be hazardous to our health, that is costing taxpayers money and that we can easily do without, and is something that should go the way of lead paint.”

According to the city, an estimated 20,000 tons of EPS food packaging enter its waste stream per year and removing the material from the recycling stream adds an estimated $20 per ton to the cost of recycling. Continue reading

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