Just over a year ago (November 30, 2015), Dart Container Corporation opened a foam recycling center at its plant in Dallas. The plant is open to both employees and the public, and accepts polystyrene foam in any form. This includes post-consumer foam cups, to-go containers, egg cartons, ice chests, meat trays, and more. The only requirement is that the items have the #6 chasing arrows symbol, signifying polystyrene foam.
The collection center is available to the public 24/7 for drop off and also lets companies with larger amounts of foam to recycle schedule drop offs. Since opening the collection center, the Dallas plant has collected and recycled a total of 894 pounds of foam from the general public.
Facilities like the Dallas center receive foam products from local schools, community recyclers, supermarkets, hospitals, manufacturing plants, and cafeterias, as well as individual recyclers. Once collected, foam products are washed and dried, and then sent to a manufacturer so that the material can be reused.
Common foam misconceptions
Aside from the valiant recycling effort that the Dallas plant undertakes, the center also serves as a way to correct misconceptions surrounding polystyrene foam.
Many people do not realize that polystyrene foam is recyclable. When it is properly recycled, foam can be used to make products such as rulers, surfboards, picture frames, crown molding, and baseboards. And because polystyrene foam is a thermoplastic, it can be recycled over and over.
Another misconception surrounding polystyrene foam is its link to Styrofoam. Though both polystyrene foam and Styrofoam are No. 6 plastics, Styrofoam is a registered trademark of the Dow Chemical Company, and is mainly used for insulation.