A $29,000 grant will help increase expanded polystyrene recycling in Athens-Clarke County, Ga.
The money from the Foam Recycling Coalition will be used by the local solid waste department to purchase densifiers to compact the EPS into condensed bricks, the coalition said.
EPS is about 95 percent air, so densifying the material helps with the economics of shipping and recycling the material.
The densifiers will be used at the district's Center for Hard to Recycle Materials, or CHaRM, located just north of downtown Athens.
The center already accepts a wide variety of materials, including plastic film and EPS.
“The Athens-Clarke County community has shown a progressive attitude toward material recovery,” said Lynn Dyer, president of the Foodservice Packaging Institute, which houses the coalition, in a statement. “Their operation has already demonstrated an outstanding ability to recycle a wide array of post-consumer items which makes them an excellent choice for this grant.”
Residents now can use the facility to recycle protective EPS packaging. The added money will allow the center to also accept food-grade EPS products and increase efficiency, the coalition said. The grant also allows Athens-Clarke County to gather EPS from large generators.
“Athens-Clarke residents have been asking about foam recycling for years, and adding foam to our expanding list of CHaRM items makes perfect sense. Diverting this material to domestic manufacturing is a key component in supporting Georgia's recovered economy,” Solid Waste Department Director Suki Janssen said in a statement.