Austin Expands Operations to Recycle More Foam Packaging

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A grant from the Foodservice Packaging Institute's Foam Recycling Coalition helps increase Austin's capacity to manage and process more post-consumer foam polystyrene.

Austin Resource Recovery, a department of the City of Austin, received a $45,000 grant from the Foam Recycling Coalition.

Austin Resource Recovery, a department of the City of Austin, received a $45,000 grant from the Foam Recycling Coalition.

We like to work with forward thinking organizations, like the City of Austin’s Austin Resource Recovery Department, to expand their recycling programs. Everyone benefits when more materials are recycled in the communities they serve, instead of going to landfills.

Austin Resource Recovery (ARR), a department of the City of Austin, received a $45,000 grant from the Foam Recycling Coalition (FRC). This grant will increase the city’s capacity to manage and process more post-consumer foam polystyrene, including foodservice packaging and protective packaging for recycling.

Austin’s Recycle & Reuse Drop-Off Center(RRDOC) currently serves single family residents and multifamily complexes. Most services are at no cost, but some services have a fee, including services offered to the business community. Austin’s Universal Recycling Ordinance requires businesses to provide access to recycling. With the ordinance in place, the RRDOC saw a large increase in the amount of foam collected and processed at its facility — an increase of nearly 8,000 pounds per month.

“We are excited to see more material coming to our facility. With such an increase in the volume of foam, we were struggling to keep up,” said Andy Dawson, Assistant Division Manager. “With this grant from the Foam Recycling Coalition, we will purchase a second densifier to help supplement our current equipment and allow us to handle a greater volume of foam coming from businesses.”

To communicate with residents about this program, ARR has taken the initiative to provide outreach material to nearly all 195,000 residential customers in Austin. The city will continue to inform residents and businesses through social media sites and monthly utility bill inserts to relay new information about their recycling program.

“We like to work with forward thinking organizations, like the City of Austin’s Austin Resource Recovery Department, to expand their recycling programs,” said Natha Dempsey, president of the Foodservice Packaging Institute, which houses the coalition. “Everyone benefits when more materials are recycled in the communities they serve, instead of going to landfills.”

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; NOVA Chemicals Corp.; Pactiv Foodservice/Food Packaging; Republic Plastics; and TOTAL Petrochemicals & Refining USA.

Austin Resource Recovery is the 13th grant recipient to receive FRC funding since 2015. Over 3 million additional residents in the U.S. and Canada can recycle foam as a result of FRC grants. Visit http://www.RecycleFoam.org to learn about foam recycling, read about previous recipients, or apply for a grant.

ABOUT FPI: Founded in 1933, the Foodservice Packaging Institute is the trade association for the foodservice packaging industry in North America. FPI promotes the value and benefits of foodservice packaging and serves as the industry’s leading authority to educate and influence stakeholders. Members include raw material and machinery suppliers, manufacturers, distributors and purchasers of foodservice packaging. For more information or to follow us on social media, visit http://www.FPI.org.

ABOUT FRC: The Foam Recycling Coalition was formed under the Foodservice Packaging Institute in 2014 to support increased recycling of foodservice packaging made from foam polystyrene. FRC shares general information on foam recycling, provides technical resources and offers funding assistance to programs ready to start or strengthen post-consumer foam recycling. Members include stakeholders from throughout the foodservice packaging value chain. Learn more at http://www.RecycleFoam.org.

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Natha Dempsey
Foodservice Packaging Institute
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