Some of the most densely populated communities in the Mid-Atlantic are adding foam recycling to their waste management repertoires with free drop-off recycling programs.
Through a partnership with Dart Container Corporation, a foam foodservice products manufacturer, collected foam containers are shipped to a nearby facility to be processed for reuse in new products, including picture frames, crown molding and nursery plant containers, Dart said.
Participating localities include the state of Delaware, the cities of Philadelphia and Baltimore, Carroll County, Md. and Dauphin County, Pa., which includes Harrisburg.
Dart collects foam from designated drop-off sites and transports it at no cost to ease financial burden on localities and allow businesses to reduce disposal expenses, the company said. Eligible foam materials include clean cups, plates, egg cartons, foodservice trays and protective packaging from consumer goods and electronics, Dart said.
Commonly referred to as “Styrofoam,” a registered trademark of the Dow Chemical Company, plastic #6 (also known as polystyrene) is one of those materials that’s often difficult to recycle. But Mid-Atlantic programs have met great success since their inception in July.
“We’ve had great feedback from residents and businesses on the programs we have implemented in these areas,” said Ray Ehrlich, Dart regional manager for government affairs and the environment. “It just confirms that there is a growing market for additional recycling options.”