Foam Cycle, Augusta, New Jersey, a manufacturer of packaging recycling systems, was recently issued a Utility Patent by the United States Patent and Trademark Office for “method and system of recycling polystyrene waste.”
According to a news release from Foam Cycle, foam packaging is one of the most plentiful yet least recycled plastics in existence today. It is too large to be placed in a curbside container and is not accepted by most single-stream recycling facilities. The company says when it is dropped off at a recycling collection center equipped with a Foam Cycle system, foam packaging can be recycled.
The Foam Cycle system is designed as an encapsulated “plug and play” system to collect, recycle and repurpose foam packaging according to Foam Cycle. When foam packaging is processed through the system, 98 percent of the air is safely released and 2 percent of the polystyrene plastic is extruded, resulting in a 90-1 densification. Densified polystyrene foam, called ingots, has a high resale value and is used in various industries to make new products, such as picture frames, RV panels and home insulation. The company says these finished products can be recycled again, resulting in a closed-loop recycling system.
The unit can also process and recycle foam foodservice products like egg cartons, meat trays and cups. The company says since foodservice foam is dropped off at a municipal recycling drop-off center by area residents and not placed in a curbside container, food service foam comes into a recycling facility 95 percent clean and ready to be recycled.
Once the system is purchased, leased or rented, Foam Cycle’s team will provide on-site support. The company’s team will explain, educate and train each municipal location on the proper use of the system’s densifier and which foam materials can and cannot be recycled.
“Foam Cycle’s future growth and larger environmental impact will occur when we make our recycling system known and available to municipal recycling drop-off centers throughout the country,” says Renee Garrin. “To achieve this goal, Foam Cycle will be looking to partner with one of the nation’s largest waste and recycling haulers. This partnership would allow Foam Cycle access to hundreds of the company’s recycling professionals, many of which have existing municipal contacts and relationships.”