Four non-profit organizations in Greensboro, North Carolina, Tiny House Community Development (THCD), Greensboro Beautiful, Inc., Emerging Ecology, and Environmental Stewardship Greensboro, collectively known as the Foam Coalition of Nonprofits, continue to work toward expanding their foam polystyrene recovery efforts across central North Carolina. In 2020, the organization established a local drop-off site near downtown Greensboro to recycle more polystyrene (PS) foam marked with a number six (6). This includes cups, clamshell packaging, egg cartons and packaging foam that comes with electronics or furniture.
The Foam Coalition of Nonprofits continues to gain momentum and support throughout the local community and is now working to expand PS foam recycling drop-off locations. The organization was awarded a $28,000 grant from the Foam Recycling Coalition (FRC) in 2020 to assist in expanding access to foam recycling and implementing collection in additional areas of central North Carolina.
“These Greensboro non-profits are working hard to serve their communities by providing recycling services for foam polystyrene packaging that would otherwise be destined for the landfill,” says Natha Dempsey, president of the Foodservice Packaging Institute, which oversees FRC.
Since establishing the foam recycling drop-off location, the organization has collected over 15,000 pounds of foam, provided paid workforce development jobs to homeless and formerly homeless individuals, and helped reduce the waste that goes to the landfill in the area. With this new grant, the organization will expand collection locations to include additional cities and local universities in providing access for PS foam recycling. This will also provide the opportunity to expand its workforce development training program as well.
“This unique partnership among our organizations has successfully established a thriving drop-off operation and we are excited to have the opportunity and support from the community to expand drop-off locations in the area,” said Scott A. Jones, executive director of Tiny House Community Development. “Not only is this site a great opportunity for the region’s recycling efforts, all proceeds from the sale of our recovered polystyrene will support construction of Tiny Houses, which will provide job training and homes for individuals in the community.”
FRC funding helped the Foam Coalition of Nonprofits set up and operate the first drop off site and expand its capabilities, which currently collects all types of foam polystyrene packaging materials including foodservice containers and trays from residents, hospitals, colleges, and businesses within Guilford County.
The grant is made possible through contributions to FRC, which focuses exclusively on increased recycling of post-consumer foam polystyrene. Its members include Americas Styrenics; Cascades Canada ULC; Chick-fil-A; CKF Inc.; Dart Container Corp.; Dolco Packaging; Dyne-A-Pak; Genpak; INEOS Styrolution America LLC.; Pactiv Foodservice/Food Packaging; and Republic Plastics.
Tiny House Community Development, Greensboro Beautiful, Inc., Emerging Ecology and Environmental Stewardship Greensboro are the 19th grant recipients to receive FRC funding since 2015. Over 6 million additional residents in the U.S. and Canada can recycle foam as a result of FRC grants. Visit www.RecycleFoam.org to learn about foam recycling, read about previous recipients or apply for a grant.