Earlier this year, the Foam Recycling Coalition (part of the Foodservice Packaging Institute) announced that it would be providing grants to help waste management companies collect and recycle EPS foam, and then sell the recycled product to end-users. Alpine Waste & Recycling in Colorado was the first recipient of a $45,000 grant to provide these services to the Commerce City area. The President of the Foodservice Packaging Institute, Lynn Dyer, cited Alpine’s thoughtfulness and future preparedness as the reasons their application stood out from the numerous others.
Alpine plans to use the grant money to buy a large scale foam densifier to compact the EPS foam into polystyrene (PS) foam bricks. This operational upgrade will make Alpine the first company in Denver to provide foam recycling. Vice President of Recycling for Alpine, Brent Hildebrand, commented that this grant allows them the opportunity to fulfill the wishes of consumers who have continually expressed a desire to recycle foam. It also allows the company to continue to foster its innovative culture and be at the forefront of the industry.
This comes at a time when a coalition of foam manufacturers and recyclers has filed a suit against the New York City (NYC) Mayor, Commissioner, and Department of Sanitation. The basis of this suit is that foam was banned in an arbitrary and capricious manner because NYC officials erroneously concluded that foam cannot be recycled. While we wait for the Supreme Court ruling on that, it is gratifying to see that other parts of North America are being progressive and proactive in creating solutions that work for consumers, manufacturers, small business and most importantly, the environment.