It is getting to be that time of year when holiday gift giving produces large amounts of polystyrene foam and packaging materials. Instead of throwing polystyrene foam products into the trash, residents in Kirkland, Washington are participating in ‘StyroFest.’
Over four specific weekends from Thanksgiving to the beginning of March, Kirkland residents will be able to dispose of their used foam for recycling at the city’s Public Works Maintenance Center.
According to King County Solid Waste, 4,000 tons of polystyrene foam is thrown away by residents and businesses in King County each year. To help reduce the amount of foam ending up in landfills, the material collected during StyroFest will be recycled by a local organization, ECO Foam Recycling.
As explained by ECO Foam Recycling partner, David Griffin, the company will use a thermal processor that grinds, crushes and compresses the material into single ingots (or blocks) that weigh 50 lbs. After 40,000 pounds of recycled foam is processed, it will be sold in bulk to a manufacturer that will use it to create a variety of plastic products.
ECO Foam Recycle operates year-round and accepts clean foam and EPS blocks for free.