A new drop-off location for polystyrene foam products in Michigan adds to the already growing numbers of areas where residents are able to responsibly dispose of used foam materials. In partnership with Dart Container Corporation, a Michigan-based organization itself, the Jefferson Township Recycling and Waste Transfer Station has added the recycling of foam products to its capabilities. The material makes up several forms of the single-use foodservice products, such as hot beverage cups and take-away food containers, and packaging materials for the shipping of fragile products.
With the intention to divert foam products from area landfills, the Jefferson Township recycling program is part of more than 40 drop-off locations in just over 30 Michigan counties. This addition means that county residents have a one-stop recycling facility to collect their unwanted foam, along with other recyclable items, and drop them off to be responsibly disposed of free of charge. Doing so will eliminate unnecessary material from local waste streams. A representative from the Transfer Station comments, “Our primary focus remains to ensure that every material that is recyclable is recycled as it is intended to be. This foam collection program only adds to the many recycling programs currently in place and further strengthens our ongoing commitment toward a more sustainable future.”
For Dart Container, implementing programs in their backyard is an obvious choice. Dart representative Ashley Stovall notes, “Dart Container is proud to have called Michigan home for more than 75 years, and we take our commitment introduce foam recycling infrastructure in areas where we do business very seriously.”
Ensuring that polystyrene foam is responsibly disposed of is not a new trend, but rather an effort being made throughout the U.S. Several cities and organizations have partnered to develop successful programs all meant to decrease the amount of foam and general waste sent to local landfills and create new manufacturing opportunities. Once recycled and processed, polystyrene foam is developed into a material that can be used in the production of new consumer goods, such as picture frames and architectural molding. By participating in this recycling process, consumers and organizations are able to assist in removing a product at the end of its life-cycle from local waste streams, and create new economic opportunities through manufacturing.