A tour of Dart Container brought together legislators from both sides of party lines to explore the innovative process of recycling foam, which has cut down waste and brought large amounts of jobs to the Inland Empire. From the Legislative Caucus, assembly members Mike Morrell (R-Rancho Cucamonga), Cheryl Brown (D-San Bernardino), Curt Hagman (R-Chino Hills), Melissa Melendez (R-Lake Elsinore) and staff of Assemblyman Jose Medina (D-Riverside) all took part in the tour. They were able to get a firsthand look at the high-tech recycling program which has reduced the landfill waste and created new jobs not only at its own plant, but also at NEPCO, a firm that creates items from the recycled foam.
This foam, which is commonly referred to as Styrofoam® (a registered trademark of the Dow Chemical Company), is recycled, compressed, and then delivered to NEPCO in Pomona, where it’s turned into household items such as picture frames and crown molding. The specific type of foam, polystyrene, can be identified by the number 6 found on the bottom, within the triangular arrow shape that signifies recyclable. It is most commonly used for food packaging, such as cups or takeout containers, or in molded blocks used to package electronics, such as TVs and computers.
Dart offers a drop-off site in Corona for people to bring foam products for recycling, where they are then washed and dried in a specially-built recycling facility. This facility is one of two Dart facilities in California – the other is in Lodi – which represent a small part of the large national program that includes recycling locations all across the country. As a big supporter of the local economy, Dart annually spends $27.4 million in supplier dollars to California-based companies and $1.2 million in taxes to state and local governments.
Source: The Press Enterprise