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
“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.”
By : Taiwan Headlines
Styrofoam is considered too bulky to be collected by local recyclers, and its recycling ratio is quite low, leaving it most often thrown out with the rest of the trash. But it can actually be made into a raw material to produce plastic items at a cost somewhat 40 per cent cheaper than relying on entirely new materials. Continue reading
Styrofoam has a bulk density of between 10 – 80 kg/m3. The high volume and low weight nature of this waste has a significant impact on the overall costs of Styrofoam recycling, through high collection and transportation costs. With a large proportion of available waste arising from large retailers and producers, sorted at source, reverse logistics, i.e. filling returning lorries with Styrofoam waste can help reduce these costs, as can co-collecting separated waste with other industrial or trade recyclables and densification.
Only clean Styrofoam is usually requested and simple processing techniques are used to produce a granular, Styrofoam product; processing costs of € 100 have been reported. The cost range detailed, € 300 – 1,700 is not typical of collection systems. It also reflects private collection initiatives which may have to establish independent collection systems, however, the overall cost of the system is highly influenced by the collection method employed.
Enough waste Styrofoam to fill 15,000 Olympic sized swimming pools is sent to landfill every year in the UK alone. The Styrofoam recycling equipment from Hasswell can help densify the waste Styrofoam into blocks.
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Polystyrene (EPS) is produced in thousands of different forms for specific packaging requirements and is also used to make products such as disposable cups, trays, cutlery, cartons, CD cases and containers.
It is conservatively estimated that well over 300,000 tons of waste EPS are produced on an annual basis in the UK. In the USA according to the EPA over 377,579 tons of Styrofoam are produced in California alone.
The volume of landfill space it takes up compared to its weight is considerable as Styrofoam is so light. To put this in perspective 300,000 tons equates to approximately 37.5 million cubic metres or enough to fill 15,000 Olympic sized swimming pools each year!
This material is not generally a high profile target in recycling terms. Many companies and local authorities may not have considered the implications of just how much Styrofoam they are dumping. So what is the solution? The answer is separation, compaction and recycling.
Recycling is not always easy. But many of the nation’s businesses and organizations recycle styrofoam packaging products with success. Styrofoam recycling programs vary from organization to organization but all demonstrate a commitment to the environment and to sound business practices. Continue reading