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Sustainable UC Davis Students Tackle Trash and Recycle Foam


UC Davis residence halls hosting recycling drive and partnering with Dart Container Corporation to collect polystyrene packaging foam for recycling on move-in day

DAVIS, Calif. (September 12, 2011) – The beginning of a new school year can be a fresh start for both new and returning students, a time filled with new experiences and lessons.

For students living in the UC Davis residence halls, this move-in day will be an opportunity to learn an important lesson before they even attend their first class. These students will learn about the importance of sustainable practices and the individual impact they can have on a cleaner future.

On September 17 and 18, UC Davis Student Housing is organizing a recycling drive to help students and their families sustainably dispose of the trash they accumulate on move-in day. As students are settling in, volunteers will guide them to recycling stations where they can drop off different materials for recycling, including packaging foam, cardboard boxes and paper from their new appliances and electronics.

Committed to finding innovative ways to become more sustainable, UC Davis Student Housing has received recognition from different third-party groups in the past year, including Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certifications for several buildings. Although the university operates recycling stations year round, the housing department wanted to find proactive ways to mitigate any overflow from the increase of packaging materials from students moving in. In addition to the recycling drive, recycling stations are now included in the maps that incoming students receive to help them navigate the campus on move-in day.

Dart Container Corporation, a foam foodservice manufacturer with a plant in Lodi, commends UC Davis Student Housing on its efforts and shares its vision for a cleaner future. To support UC Davis’ activities, Dart is picking up foam that’s collected and transferring it to its Lodi facility for processing. It will then be sold to other manufacturers that use the material to create a variety of new products, including premium picture frames, crown molding and nursery plant containers.

"We don’t want to just rest on previous accomplishments with current programs,” said Patrice Coffman, UC Davis Student Housing sustainability coordinator. “We’re always looking to expand beyond our existing activities, and this support from Dart helps us go the extra mile.”

Commonly referred to as “Styrofoam”,a registered trademark of the Dow Chemical Company, foam #6 is a recyclable product that is used in a wide range of products, from foam cups and foodservice containers, to the large molded blocks used to package electronics. Dart is driving foam recycling efforts throughout California and nationally through its programs, and foam drop off-locations at 13 facilities across the country.

“This initiative is just another example of Dart’s commitment to working with other partners on ways that they too can reduce their carbon footprint,” said Michael Westerfield, Corporate Director of Recycling Programs at Dart Container Corporation. “We’re constantly seeking new opportunities to work with other universities, municipalities, and waste haulers to expand successful foam recycling programs nationally.”

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.