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polystyrene foam

Two Ontario, Canada, Municipalities Resume Polystyrene Foam Recycling

Brockton and Hanover received grants to expand post-consumer polystyrene foam processing capabilities.

Residents and businesses in the Ontario, Canada, municipalities of Brockton and Hanover now have the opportunity to recycle polystyrene foam thanks to a $9,700 grant from the Foam Recycling Coalition (FRC).

The municipalities began collecting post-consumer polystyrene foam in 2007, but the recycling program was suspended 10 years later due to changing markets for the material. The recycling services will resume with the help of a polystyrene densifier, which compacts collected materials into condensed polystyrene bricks. End markets then recycle the bricks into new products.

“The discontinuation of the agreement to transport materials in 2017 was sudden and unexpected. With this grant from the Foam Recycling Coalition, we found a solution that allows us to begin collecting polystyrene again and bring back this service to our residents,” said Ron Cooper, director of public works for the town of Hanover, in a statement.

Brockton and Hanover’s waste management departments will operate the program via community drop-off depots. Businesses and residents can bring foam cups, take-out containers, egg cartons and meat trays, as well as protective foam packaging often found around shipped electronics. The material then will be sent to a central location for densification and turned into new products as varied as crown molding, picture frames and receipt spools.

The Canadian Plastics Industry Association provided assistance in connecting the municipalities with the Foam Recycling Coalition’s grant program and is helping with the official kickoff event at the Brockton Recycling Centre on May 31.

The municipalities anticipate they will receive material from approximately 17,000 residents. In time, they plan to offer access to foam collection to the neighboring communities, too, which will bring access to a total exceeding 63,000 residents.

“We congratulate both municipalities for their never-give-up focus to once again find a solution for foam recycling. Everyone benefits when these valuable materials are recycled in the communities they serve, instead of going to landfills,” said Lynn Dyer, president of the Foodservice Packaging Institute, which houses the coalition, in a statement.

The grant is made possible through contributions to the FRC, which focuses on increased recycling of post-consumer foam polystyrene. Brockton/Hanover is the 11th grant recipient to receive FRC funding since 2015. According to the coalition, more than 3 million additional residents in the U.S. and Canada can recycle foam as a result of FRC grants.

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