Expanded polystyrene recycling is resuming in two Canadian municipalities following a two-year hiatus.
Both Brockton and Hanover, in Ontario, are resuming post-consumer EPS recycling thanks to a US$9,700 grant from the Foam Recycling Coalition within the Foodservice Packaging Institute.
The money will pay for an EPS densifier that allows the material to be condensed into PS bricks that can them be more easily transported and made into new products.
EPS, because it consists of about 95 percent air, is difficult to handle and manage from a recycling standpoint. Densifying the material — or taking the air back out — helps improve the economics.
Both Brockton and Hanover started recycling EPS in 2007, but stopped handling the material after 10 years due to market conditions.
The communities will use drop-off locations to gather the post-consumer EPS, which will then be taken to a central location and densified.
The Canadian Plastics Industry Association helped the municipalities and the grant program connect.
Plans are to eventually invite surrounding communities to join the program.
"Everyone benefits when these valuable materials are recycled in the communities they serve, instead of going to landfills," FPI President Lynn Dyer said in a statement.