Florida’s Collier County Adds Foam Polystyrene to Recycling Drop-Off Program

Residents and businesses in Collier County, Florida, will now have the opportunity to recycle foam polystyrene through the county’s drop-off collection sites, thanks to a $50,000 grant from the Foam Recycling Coalition. The county’s program will focus on receiving foam food trays, colored foam and white bulk packaging foam from local commercial businesses and residents.

The new grant funding allows Collier County to purchase and install a foam densifier, train its employees, and begin community education and outreach for their program. “We’re excited to receive this grant from the Foam Recycling Coalition,” said Taylor Sawatzky, Project Manager for Collier County Solid & Hazardous Waste Management Division. “Our new foam densifier will allow us to collect this new material from our five county sites, providing more recycling access for our residents and allowing the county to divert more material from our landfill.”

Collier County is one of the largest counties by land size in the state of Florida and serves about 381,000 residents. The county’s Solid & Hazardous Waste Management Division manages all commercial and residential solid waste functions, including operating five recycling centers, one transfer station, one hazardous materials collection center, and one landfill. At most locations, residents and businesses can bring cardboard, batteries, oil, gasoline, metal and soon, foam polystyrene products.

“Collier County has shown a progressive approach toward diverting as much material as possible from disposal,” said Natha Dempsey, president of the Foodservice Packaging Institute, which houses the Foam Recycling Coalition. “The latest efforts in pursuing foam recycling will allow these valuable materials to be recovered from residents and businesses instead of being thrown away.”

The grant is made possible through contributions to the FRC, which focuses exclusively on increased recycling of post-consumer foam polystyrene. Its members include Americas Styrenics; Cascades Canada ULC; CKF Inc.; Chick-fil-A; Dart Container Corp.; Dolco Packaging; Dyne-A-Pak; Genpak; INEOS Styrolution America LLC; NOVA Chemicals Corp.; Pactiv Foodservice/Food Packaging; Republic Plastics; and TOTAL Petrochemicals & Refining USA.

Collier County is the 15th grant recipient to receive FRC funding since 2015. Over 4 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.

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