05/08/2014 10:30:14 a. m.
Plastic Recycling, Inc. (PRI) announced today the launch of a new recycling facility in Indianapolis, IN dedicated specifically to the recycling of post-consumer foam cups, foam take-out containers and other used polystyrene materials collected through curbside pick-up programs across the country.
This new facility, slated to be fully operational by the end of the first quarter in 2015, will greatly enhance the ability for local governments to launch recycling efforts to remove rigid polystyrene as well as expanded polystyrene (often mistakenly referred to as Styrofoam) from the waste stream and generate revenue. Currently, there are a number of cities in California that are aggressively recycling polystyrene, while other communities are actively investigating expanding recycling efforts to include foam. In addition, NYC is expected to test foam recycling methods this year, as required by local law.
The facility will initially employ 25 people and have a name plate capacity of 25 million pounds per year. It has been designed to allow for growth. The plant will focus on recycling dirty post-consumer EPS foam and rigid PS from material recovery facilities (MRFs) that draw their material from residential recycling programs and it will also have access to rail which will reduce the environmental impacts of shipping. PRI has already shown enormous success in recycling post-consumer and post-industrial foam from around the US.
“We currently recycle about 60 million pounds of foam and rigid polystyrene materials annually but we have the capacity to do so much more,” said PRI’s owner, Alan Shaw. “The residential recycling stream has been largely untapped by our competitors and we view it as a tremendous source for more of this valuable material.”
The new collection program is the result of a partnership between PRI and Dart Container Corporation. Through PRI’s exceptional recycling facility management and Dart’s experience with washing technology, the new program will greatly increase the volume of polystyrene materials being recycled each year.
The partnership grew out of a chance meeting at a conference hosted by the Foodservice Packaging Institute, according to Brandon Shaw, PRI’s Marketing Manager.
“In 2012 we attended the FPI’s conference aimed at increasing the recovery of foodservice fast food containers and approached Dart about our interest in recycling more polystyrene materials,” said Shaw. “We are anxious to partner with cities like New York City and Chicago that have expressed an interest in recycling their foam.”
Founded in 1988, Plastic Recycling, Inc. tasked itself with the goal of providing quality, economical products with an environmentally-friendly focus. Over the last 25 years, PRI has established itself as one of the country’s largest and most forward-thinking polystyrene recyclers. With production facilities in the Midwest and Southeast, the newly-formed partnership with Dart shows an ever-increasing commitment to a nation-wide effort aimed at recycling post-consumer polystyrene products.
“We have learned a great deal about recycling foam since we first began the process in 1990 and are excited to partner with PRI on this new venture,” said Michael Westerfield, Corporate Director of the Recycling Program at Dart. “We hope to capitalize on their expertise so the recycling of dirty foam cups and containers can continue to expand.”