Colleges Add Innovative Foam Recycling Options


As the “back to school” chaos of September returns and colleges are back in session, schools are continuing to find innovative methods to improve their recycling programs on campus. Larger schools across the country are launching new polystyrene foam collection efforts to their students, staff, and local communities.

University of Colorado

The university has made a serious commitment to recycling by creating a dedicated space for special hard to recycle items. When the school renovated their athletic facilities they found the need to relocate the recycling center as part of the process. This lead to the construction of a new building which now accepts a wider selection of recyclable materials. One of the new materials that they will collect is polystyrene.

"The goal is: If it comes here, we've already spent money to get it here; let's make sure it's being diverted and not just thrown away because we didn't have space to sort and stage it," said Ed von Bleichert, Environmental Operations Manager.

University of North Carolina

The Tar Heels are bringing recycling right to their students’ doorsteps this year by offering drop off locations at each of their residence halls during the move in process. The added convenience for students makes it much more likely that students will actually choose to recycle foam when the opportunity is given.

Residence hall collections are not the only improvement the university is implementing for foam recycling. This summer, the school offered a weeklong foam drop off for the community on campus. Residents of Chapel Hill, along with students, were encouraged to bring their foam products to a drop off location on campus where they were collected for an entire week.

Illinois State University

The university is conducting their own trial for polystyrene recycling. The program was introduced in early July and wrapping up at the end of August when students are moving back to campus. The program will hopefully divert more waste from landfills and create an additional revenue stream for the school.

The program collects a variety of different types of polystyrene including packing material, hard polystyrene, and more. The pilot program has begun in order to see if there is enough demand at the school to make this a full time program.

These schools are among many that are making tremendous strides in recycling foam. You can help make the same choice. We also offer a variety of information if you are interested in recycling foam in your home, your town or your business

 “CU-Boulder's new recycling facility up and runningColorado Daily 22 July, 2015. Web. 1 September, 2015.