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SOCRRA Expands Foam Recycling Capabilities

SOCRRA Expands Foam Recycling Capabilities
SOCRRA received a $50,000 grant from the Foam Recycling Coalition to add a foam densifier to its current materials recovery processing system.

The Southeastern Oakland County Resource Recovery Authority (SOCRRA) in Troy, Mich., has received a $50,000 grant from the Foam Recycling Coalition (FRC) to add a foam densifier to its current materials recovery processing system.

Consisting of 12 municipalities serving a population of approximately 283,000, SOCRRA operates a materials recovery facility (MRF), waste transfer station and recycling drop-off center that collects multiple materials, including foam polystyrene. SOCRRA is one of only three foam polystyrene drop-off locations in the greater Detroit area. Since accepting foam polystyrene, it has seen the amount of foam recycled increase by nearly 25 percent per year at the drop-off center.

The funding allows SOCRRA to purchase and install a high-capacity foam densifier to better manage its drop-off foam collection. The densifier compacts collected materials, such as egg cartons and takeout containers, into condensed polystyrene bricks, which can then be recycled into new products.

SOCRRA also will add a bin on the MRF’s presort line to recover additional foam that would otherwise go to residue.

“We are focused on recovering more material, including foam polystyrene packaging,” said Jeff McKeen, general manager of SOCRRA, in a statement. “A new densifier will reduce the amount of space required to store foam in our facility, creating more efficient and environmentally friendly operations within our recycling process.”

Except for packing peanuts, SOCRRA accepts all clean and dry types of foam polystyrene. Currently foam is only accepted at the drop-off location, not in the curbside bin program.

“Waste authorities like SOCRRA provide the processing and education we need to increase foam recycling across North America,” said Lynn Dyer, president of the Foodservice Packaging Institute, which houses the Foam Recycling Coalition, in a statement. “We congratulate SOCRRA in creating more efficient recycling operations, which will result in valuable materials being diverted from landfills.”

The grant is made possible through contributions to the FRC, which focuses exclusively on increased recycling of post-consumer foam polystyrene. Its members include Americas Styrenics; Cascades Canada ULC; CKF Inc.; Chick-fil-A; Dart Container Corp.; Dyne-A-Pak; Genpak; Hawaii’s Finest Products; INEOS Styrolution America LLC; NOVA Chemicals Corp.; Pactiv Foodservice/Food Packaging; Republic Plastics; and TOTAL Petrochemicals & Refining USA.

SOCRRA is the 13th grant recipient to receive FRC funding since 2015. More than 3 million additional residents in both the U.S. and Canada can recycle foam as a result of FRC grants.

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