After recycling expanded polystyrene (EPS) – a category of consumer foam products – for nearly 20 years and operating 18 EPS recycling facilities across the U.S. and internationally, Dart Container Corporation has been awarded the Excellence in EPS Recycling Award from the EPS Industry Alliance (EPS-IA). The annual award, presented to companies that display an extraordinary commitment to the advancement of EPS recycling, was given to Dart at the 2013 EPS EXPO in Cincinnati in March. Expanded polystyrene foam, often referred to as Styrofoam®, a registered trademark of the Dow Chemical Company, makes up many forms of foodservice items such as takeout containers and cups.
Through fostering community outreach programs, instituting and improving curbside EPS pick-up, and operating facilities that accept polystyrene foam products, Dart annually recycles over 1.5 million pounds of post-consumer EPS. Dart has also worked to develop new technology that allows several different sizes of EPS to be processed at the same time. This reduces the amount of labor, energy and capital necessary to maintain recycling programs. As a result of this development, recycling EPS has been made easier for small businesses and government agencies.
Several other organizations and entities were also recognized at the event for their efforts. Among these was the City of Baltimore, which recently released a marketing program to educate residents and increase awareness of their EPS recycling program. Baltimore was honored for taking an active role in decreasing EPS waste, as well as pursuing EPS educational efforts as opposed to considering foam-bans as seen in other parts of the U.S. Omaha Steaks was also honored for their efforts in helping customers locate recycling centers to drop their EPS meat coolers, as was the California-based company Waste to Waves, which uses foam waste in the production of new surfboards.
The EPS-IA awards are meant to acknowledge companies and organizations that go above and beyond in the effort to improved and promote EPS recycling, as well as educate consumers on foam recycling. The goal of these awards is not only to recognize these organizations as outstanding representation of the industry, but also further promote polystyrene foam as a versatile and sustainable material.