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Maryville Academy Debuts Foam Recycling in Illinois, Sets Bar for Other Schools, Businesses and Institutions in State


Childcare organization partners with Dart Container Corporation in a commitment to Sustain an eco-friendly 24-hour dining service and divert foam from landfill

DES PLAINES, IL – Maryville Academy, a childcare organization serving children and families in need, has teamed up with Michigan-based Dart Container Corp. to pioneer a new way for Illinois businesses, schools and other institutions to recycle foam as part of food-service operations. The effort launched today will divert nearly 700,000 pieces of foam from area landfills each year.

As part of Dart’s CARE (Cups Are REcyclable) Program, Maryville is leasing a foam densifier – a machine designed to compact a mound foam food containers and trays the size of a small car into the size of a five gallon bucket. The CARE Program helps large operators using foam food service products separate foam from other products, consolidate collected material, and have it recycled. Recycled foam food service products can be reprocessed into building insulation, plastic lumber, and many other products.

“Recycling foam is easy, and Maryville Academy is proving it. We couldn’t be happier to be a part of this event and contribute to a more sustainable organization that is already doing such wonderful things in the Illinois area,” said Michael Westerfield, Corporate Director of Recycling Programs at Dart. “Dart’s always looking for ways we can positively support our community and our company is dedicated to raising awareness that foam recycling is possible and practical in Illinois.”

To mark this special occasion, Maryville Academy and Dart Corporation held a ribbon-cutting Tuesday, Sept. 29 outside of Maryville’s Scott Nolan Center located at 555 Wilson Lane in Des Plaines, Ill. In attendance was Des Plaines Mayor Martin J. Moylan, prominent city officials and Maryville leadership and staff.

"We welcome this technology because it offers Maryville Academy another way to protect our environment, not just for the children and families we serve, but also for the larger community,” said Sister Catherine M. Ryan O.S.F executive director of Maryville Academy.

Densifiers are ideal for high-volume restaurants and cafeteria systems using foam products such as Maryville’s 24-hour patient food services. Before, the organization had no choice but to load area landfills with used foam. Dart picks up densified foam products once a month at no charge to the CARE program participant. The densifier reduces the amount of space required to store collected foam, therefore minimizing truck pick-ups and ultimately reducing the carbon footprint made by the foam recycling process.

“I’m so impressed – I didn’t even know it was possible to recycle foam,” said Paulette Osburn, food service director at Maryville Academy. “I’m proud to be one of the first cafeterias to recycle foam in the state – we hope that it sets a positive example in our community.”

Often improperly called “Styrofoam,” Dart’s products are recyclable and reusable. Foam products generate less waste in their production than paper alternatives, are stable and safe in landfills, and burn cleanly in modern municipal energy-from-waste facilities.


About Dart Container Corporation

Established in 1937, Dart Container Corporation sets the industry standard of excellence by providing high quality recyclable, affordable and safe foodservice products and packaging, exceptionally reliable service and responsible environmental practices.Dart is making a concerted effort to increase foam recycling opportunities throughout the country and strives to produce high-quality, cost-effective products in a manner sensitive to environmental concerns. Dart is headquartered in Mason, Mich. For more information, visit or call (800) 248-5960.

About Maryville Academy

Maryville Academy, founded in 1883, is one of the oldest child and youth care agencies in Illinois. Maryville's programs are located at six sites in Chicago (short term shelters and transitional programs for medically fragile children); Des Plaines, Illinois (residential treatment, school and hospital); Durand, IL (residential treatment); and Bartlett, IL (residential treatment). Maryville serves over 200 toddlers, children, adolescents, young adults and their families. Maryville reaches another 2,000 youth through its community outreach programs. The full range of services provided are designed to help children and their families find healing, inner strength and hope for the future by rebuilding lives, rekindling spirits and renewing hope. To learn more about Maryville Academy, visit