A company called Three Guys, One Vision (3G1V) in Tampa, Florida, is becoming a huge contributor in recycling expanded polystyrene (EPS) by accepting what is known as “dirty Styrofoam.” Styrofoam is a registered trademark of the Dow Chemical Company and is mistakenly used to describe all foam products. 3G1V is one of only two companies in the United States that recycles dirty foam.
Dirty foam is EPS that has food stuck on it. Three Guys, One Vision uses a special wash machine to clean the material and then recycle it.
3G1V works to relieve the communities of foam waste and use the recyclable material. The company’s mission is to educate the public about recycling EPS. Americans throw away almost 25 billion foam cups each year because they are not aware of the EPS recycling options or have been misinformed that foam cannot be recycled. 3G1V also hopes to cut the shipping cost of dirty foam.
Each month, the company sends approximately 200,000 pounds of foam to China. The majority of the material is turned into picture frames and then shipped back to the United States. These picture frames end up in large retail stores, including Walmart and Target. The recycled foam is also used to make car parts, CD crystals and eyeglass frames as well as other miscellaneous products.
The company’s next goal is to target school systems and their dirty foam lunch trays.
3G1V accepts any foam plastics, including cups, coolers, and packaging peanuts. 3G1V also accepts cardboard at its facility. If you are interested in dropping off any foam or other recyclable materials, please visit the facility at 5129 W. Idlewild Ave., Tampa, FL, or visit the website www.3g1v.com/.