Styrofoam Recycling Pilot Project begins at the Madison County Landfill

Styrofoam bagged

Pictured is Styrofoam properly prepared for recycling in the Madison County Styrofoam Recycling pilot program.

(Town of Lincoln, NY – Dec. 15, 2015) The wait is over – Styrofoam recycling is here in Madison County.

Beginning Dec. 29 the Department of Solid Waste will begin a collecting Styrofoam in a pilot project that runs from Dec. 29 through June 30, 2016.

Residents wishing to recycle their Expanded Poly Styrene (EPS) foam #6 – commonly called ‘Styrofoam’ are asked to bring it to the main landfill on Buyea Road. in the town of Lincoln in clear plastic bags with all tape and labels removed.  The collection site will be set up across from the ReUse Store on the East side of Buyea Road. EPS foam will be accepted during regular operating hours Tuesday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“It is exciting that this program is starting up just in time for Christmas cleanup”, said Mary Bartlett, Recycling Coordinator. Acceptable materials for this program include packaging foam and clean egg cartons – white only.

Please Note: Foam cups, packing peanuts, meat trays, soiled containers and packing materials made of materials other than Styrofoam are NOT ACCEPTED due to contamination.

It takes 50 years for EPS foam to break down, but since polystyrene is not biodegradable, it never really leaves the environment.

“That’s why we have been working diligently to find a practical way to recycle Styrofoam,” said James Zecca, Director of the Department of Solid Waste.

Stryrofoam-Recycling1 bin remove tape and labelsEPS foam breaks into small pieces, and like plastic will cause problems in the digestive tracks of animals unlucky enough to ingest it.  Foam is lightweight, yet bulky, especially packaging foam and takes up a lot of space in our landfills.

“Styrofoam is quite valuable when properly prepared for recycling, yet difficult since it needs to be densified for shipping to a qualified recycler,” said Zecca.

The County has an outlet for Styrofoam for the next six months while the pilot is underway. In June, 2016, Solid Waste staff will decide about the future of Styrofoam recycling in Madison County.

“We want to see how much foam there is in the waste stream and whether it makes sense to invest in a densifier of our own.” added Bartlett.

For more information contact Mary Bartlett, Recycling Coordinator, Madison County Dept. of Solid Waste 1-800-721-2208.

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