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Washington debuts public foam recycling facility

Foam recycling has arrived in Thurston County, Washington. In celebration of its 25th anniversary of manufactu...


Foam recycling has arrived in Thurston County, Washington. In celebration of its 25th anniversary of manufacturing in Washington, Dart Container Corporation, in conjunction with Thurston County Solid Waste, today unveiled in Tumwater its latest post-consumer foam recycling drop-off site. As one of a growing number of regions to be equipped with foam recycling infrastructure, the free drop-off will pioneer a new way for Washington residents, businesses and organizations to use and reuse foam with the number 6 on it.

This is one of the state’s first public sites to accept foam food service containers, including foam cups, plates, take-out containers, egg cartons, as well as shaped or molded foam often used to package electronics. This effort, Dart’s 9th drop-off location in the country, will divert foam from area landfills and allow it to be recycled into new products such as picture frames and moldings.

 “As more regions become involved in this initiative, there is a growing awareness about the recyclability of foam – recycling foam in Thurston County is now possible and practical,” said Michael Westerfield, Corporate Director of Recycling Programs at Dart Container Corporation. “Dart is passionate about contributing to a cleaner future and has a history of seeding recycling infrastructure where we do business.”

Thurston County Solid Waste played a significant role in kick starting this program and is already working to increase awareness. Once foam is dropped off at Dart, it is then compacted and shipped to a company that will use it as feedstock to make new materials. To be accepted for recycling, the foam must bear the “6” symbol with chasing arrows.

“We are extremely excited that Dart has brought foam recycling to our area,” said Terri Thomas, Education and Outreach Specialist at Thurston County Solid Waste. “This important initiative arms our community with the ability to proactively reduce waste.”

“Smaller industrial facilities like the Dart Container Corporation have been an important part of the fabric of Tumwater’s economy for many years,” said Tumwater Mayor Pro-Tem Pete Kmet. “With the addition of Styrofoam recycling, Dart is now helping lead the way toward transforming our manufacturing base to a ‘green’ economy. I’m proud to see that Tumwater’s Dart Container facility is the first in the area to provide a recycling option for these waste resources.”

Dart is driving recycling efforts from its manufacturing facilities to workplaces, warehouse recycling centers and consumers’ homes in curbside recycling efforts across the country. Often improperly called “Styrofoam,” Dart’s products are recyclable and reusable. Recycled foam food service products can be reprocessed into building insulation, plastic lumber, and many other products. Foam products generate less waste in their production than paper alternatives, are stable and safe in landfills, and burn cleanly in modern municipal energy-from-waste facilities.

Foam  can be recycled by:

  • Rinse cups and containers to rid them of food.
  • Place foam in a clear plastic bag.
  • No straws or lids.
  • No packaging peanuts (Try your local shipping store).

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