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McMenamins Reduces Waste Via Chemical Recycling Partnership

The venue’s collaboration with The Broomsmen and Agilyx chemically recycles single-use polystyrene waste plastic.

Agilyx, a leader in chemical recycling of post-use recoverable plastics back into polymers and low carbon chemicals and fuels, has concluded a recycling program in collaboration with The Broomsmen and Edgefield McMenamins targeting single-use plastic materials during McMenamins’ 2018 Concert on the Lawn series.

Concert venue Edgefield McMenamins partnered with The Broomsmen, an event waste management company, and Agilyx during the 2018 Concert on the Lawn series. The goals of the program were to divert materials from landfill, keep the venue clean and educate concert attendees on proper sorting methods in an effort to lower the venue's waste costs and reduce waste generated throughout the year.

The Broomsmen worked with McMenamins to source polystyrene foodservice products for use during the concert series given its ability to be continuously recycled back to its basic chemical building blocks. Plastics that would have become waste if not recycled or recovered were aggregated and sent to Agilyx, which uses its patented process to recycle the polystyrene material back into styrene monomer that then was sent to polystyrene manufacturers to be used to make new polystyrene products. Agilyx noted its chemical recycling process has a 50 to 70 percent lower carbon footprint relative to virgin polystyrene manufacturing.

Agilyx is the pioneer in this technology that reduces the amount of plastic that would otherwise end up as waste in a landfill.

"Our partnering with The Broomsmen and McMenamis was a huge success and represents a new emerging approach to recycling of plastic that prevents wasting this material. We chemically recycled over 2,000 pounds of single-use polystyrene products during this test program," said Joe Vaillancourt, Agilyx's CEO, in a statement. "Single-use products are actually not single-use when they are effectively managed in high-tech processes. Our technology can recycle plastics back to their basic molecular components to be used again and again."

Throughout the 29-show concert series, approximately 90,000 cans and bottles were collected, recycled and donated to area nonprofits. From 2017 to 2018, there was a 30 percent reduction in per-show landfill waste.

Specialists at The Broomsmen provide waste reduction services to corporations, large-scale gatherings and festivals. "We would like to thank McMenamins for introducing this initiative to increase community recycling. It shows they are committed to making the planet a better place," said Phil Torchio, owner and founder of The Broomsmen, in a statement. "As an organization, we strive to help our clients achieve their goals of eliminating waste and encourage them to implement these initiatives in their everyday lives."

"We were thrilled to work with the Broomsmen and Agilyx on reducing waste during our Concert on the Lawn series and look forward to working with them again in the future," said Scott Lipscomb, environmental coordinator at McMenamins, in a statement.

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