On Saturday, May 18th, more than three thousand volunteers gathered to clean up the LA River in Los Angeles, California in an annual effort hosted by the Friends of the LA River (FOLAR). Dart Container Corporation took a large part in the event with employees of their Corona manufacturing facility pitching in to pick up river debris and educate residents on the importance of foam recycling. Polystyrene foam, more commonly referred to as Styrofoam®, a registered trademark of Dow Chemical Company, makes up many forms of single-use foodservice items, such as foam cups, and packaging materials.
The annual LA River Cleanup began in 1990 with just 30 volunteers, and has now grown into an event with thousands of volunteers and activities. The employees of Dart Container show their commitment to the community by taking a major role throughout the event. According to Michael Westerfield, Corporate Director of Recycling Programs at Dart, “We’re proud to partner with the Friends of the LA River for a fifth year. It’s a great collaborative effort to help the community clean up one of Los Angeles’s great outdoor spaces, and educate residents about the many curbside foam recycling programs available.”
The education component of the event is a way for Dart Container to show residents the value and ease of recycling discarded polystyrene foam. The Los Angeles area currently has 92 communities participating in curbside foam recycling programs, meaning residents can simply put their separated foam waste by their curb to be picked up. Once this occurs, the discarded material is recycled and used by manufacturers to make new consumer goods, such as picture frames, crown molding, and plant containers.
Educating communities on the importance of recycling polystyrene foam and changing common misperceptions about foam is not a new goal of Dart Container. The organization has worked to implement foam recycling programs throughout the U.S. and internationally. For example, Dart’s CARE (Cups Are REcyclable) and Recycla-Pak programs encourage the recycling of single-use foam cups within organizations. The CARE program provides participants with a device to compress their own foam waste, which is then purchased by manufacturers for use in the production of new items.
Source: Dart Containere