STUDIO CITY, CALIF. - Dolco Packaging Corp. of Studio City has contracted to provide Los Angeles schools with recycled-content food-service trays. The company said it has contracted with the Los Angeles Unified School District, the nation's largest school district, to provide polystyrene foam lunch trays.
``The trays we are producing are made with 25 percent post-consumer polystyrene,'' said Larry Rembold, president and chief executive officer of Dolco. ``The school district thought this important enough that they interrupted a contract with another provider to take bids for trays with recycled content.''
Dolco already has begun providing about $1.2 million worth of the trays to the district per year during the three-year pact. The system has about 800,000 students, Rembold said.
Dolco, a leading manufacturer of PS packaging, reported 1994 sales of about $67 million.
``Throughout the school district we strive to purchase recycled material whenever pos-sible,'' said Beth Louargand, deputy business manager for the school system.
The trays are formed at Dolco's plant in Wenachee, Wash., Rembold said, although the company's three other plants - in Decatur, Ind., Lawrenceville, Ga., and Dallas - also make numerous products using post-consumer material.
``Wherever it is feasible regionally, we are trying to recruit institutional users to the advantages of using post-consumer materials,'' Rembold said.
The trays automatically became part of the school district's lunch tray recycling program, which closes the recycling loop. The used trays are packed in the same containers in which they were provided and shipped to National Polystyrene Recycling Co.'s facility in Corona, Calif., where they are reground, cleaned and pelletized, and then taken to Dolco for reforming.
``We actually are using material in the second, third or fourth generation,'' he said. ``There appears to be no drop-off in quality in reuse.''
``Apart from providing our schoolchildren with `hands on' experience in the recycling process, the program has helped the district meet state-mandated waste recycling requirements and, at the same time, has served as a catalyst for recycling other materials, such as milk and juice containers, paper goods and aluminum,'' Louargand said.
Impetus for the recycling program has come from the approval last year by the Food and Drug Administration for use of recycled PS in direct contact with food.
``We expect increased interest in food-service recycling,'' Rembold said. ``And we are trying to meet the needs we see developing.''