Four non-profits in Greensboro, North Carolina, Tiny House Community Development (THCD), Greensboro Beautiful, Inc., Emerging Ecology and Environmental Stewardship Greensboro, have teamed up to establish a local drop-off site near downtown Greensboro to recycle more foam packaging products and keep them out of the landfill. The group was awarded a $22,000 grant from the Foam Recycling Coalition (FRC) to assist in purchasing a foam densifier that will be housed and operated from the THCD training and recycling center.
These partner organizations make tremendous efforts to help their community. For over 50 years, Greensboro Beautiful has played a key role in demonstrating citizen and community support for recycling with a focus on proving feasibility for potential “hard-to-recycle” materials. Tiny House Community Development, the operators of the new recycling drop-off, is a non-profit organization working to develop tiny house communities within Guilford County and the City of Greensboro. Environmental Stewardship Greensboro is an interfaith volunteer coalition that encourages sustainable lifestyle practices within faith communities and among residents of the county. Together, these organizations have established a new recycling drop-off site to increase diversion of materials from their landfill.
“This unique partnership of Greensboro organizations will provide the necessary services to recycle clean and empty foam packaging that is generated by their community, as well as educate residents as foam polystyrene recycling continues to increase across North America,” says Natha Dempsey, president of the Foodservice Packaging Institute, which oversees FRC.
FRC funding helped these organizations purchase and install a high-capacity densifier unit to better manage the foam collection at their new site, which opened in November 2020. The densifier allows the drop-off site to collect all types of foam polystyrene packaging materials including foodservice containers and trays from residents, hospitals, colleges, and businesses within Guilford County.
The organizations estimate that approximately 1% of the current solid waste stream within the City of Greensboro is foam packaging material, so a new option for the community to divert this material is encouraging. “This unique but practical partnership among our organizations will allow us to establish a brand-new foam drop-off site near downtown Greensboro for all county residents to use,” said William “Bill” McNeil of Environmental Stewardship Greensboro. “Not only is this site a great opportunity for the city’s recycling efforts, all proceeds from the sale of our densified foam will support construction of Tiny Houses, which will provide job training and homes for individuals in the community.”
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; CKF Inc.; Chick-fil-A; 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 17th grant recipients 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.