San Jose Has Joined the Foam Recycling Movement

Beginning in 2008 with a California-statewide initiative to cut down waste, Dart Container is slowly but surely reducing the amount of foam thrown away by partnering with recycling centers to offer foam recycling.  What many people don’t realize is that foam can be recycled and often repurposed into other useful items.  As a leading manufacturer of foam products, such as take-out containers and coffee cups, Dart has a vested interest in the matter and is therefore committed to expanding the presence of foam recycling.

San Jose has now joined the movement, as Dart is partnering with Republic Service’s Newby Island Resource Recovery in San Jose to offer recycling for foam based products.  Newby Island’s facility, which typically recycles paper, aluminum and cardboard, was recently upgraded in a $30-million remodel to accommodate foam recycling.  Dart’s corporate director of recycling programs, Michael Westerfield, was quoted as saying “this is the perfect opportunity to let people know that they can recycle this now” when he visited the South Bay last month.

The center will be open to the public and anybody is welcome to drop off their foam at 1601 Dixon Landing Road.  Unfortunately, as of now, foam cannot be placed in a resident’s co-mingled recycling containers on the curb, but Newby hopes to compensate for this by not imposing residence restrictions on drop-offs, thereby allowing anyone from neighboring counties to drop off their foam.

Dart’s California program is just a small step towards providing an effective option for foam products. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that foam comprises 1% of the entire country’s waste stream.  Westerfield asserted that the breakdown was one-third food containers and two-thirds packing material.  Dart Container is specifically diverting Foam No. 6, which is commonly found in food packaging and can be identified by a number on the bottom of the container, within the recycling symbol.  This type is recyclable and can be compressed into logs that are purchased by local manufacturers and used for everyday products such as non-wood picture frames and crown molding. The company has also made a marked effort to keep everything local within the California community.

Source: Mercury News

Foam Recycling