Dart Container Corp. and Moore Recycling Associates have released a new short video that makes the business case for recycling polystyrene (PS) and expanded polystyrene (EPS). The partners produced the video as part of a plastics industry effort to raise awareness and help decision makers and operators of materials recovery facilities (MRFs) understand that there are practical options for adding this material to their collection and processing streams.
Moore Recycling Associates has been investigating the question for more than a year, and the company says that it's become increasingly clear that it makes good economic sense for curbside recycling programs to accept EPS. "What's especially interesting," said President Patty Moore. "is that most of the problems we anticipated-the stuff is too bulky and too light, it'll wind up all over the MRF, there won't be enough of it to be worthwhile, there'll be too much of it to fit in the bins-those haven't turned out to be problems at all."
During the video, host Todd Sutton, the Waste Sleuth, visits Burrtec's West Valley MRF in Fontana, CA, to learn about one approach: hand sorting. On the tipping floor, amid small mountains of paper, cardboard, glass, aluminum and plastic from curbside recycling programs, Burrtec Marketing Director Robert Rios explains, "For us, EPS is just one more material. We collect it with the same trucks that pick up everything else, and we didn't need additional hands on the sorting line."