EPS (Styrofoam)

Styrofoam

  Styrofoam is a trademark of the Dow Company.  The material is called EPS (expanded polystyrene), and just like other plastics, it’s everywhere.  Polystyrene foam is used in a wide variety of products, from food packaging to explosives, and is commonly used in appliance packaging.

 

  Despite its many benefits, EPS also has its drawbacks.  Polystyrene is manufactured from petroleum, it’s very flammable, and the known human carcinogen benzene is used in its production.  Like other plastics, it’s hardly biodegradable, and takes an incredibly long time to break down in the environment.  It can last almost forever.  Only about 5 percent of Styrofoam is polystyrene.  The rest is air.  Because of this, Styrofoam is very space-consuming and by volume takes up an estimated 30 percent of landfills worldwide.  Currently in the US, EPS foam packaging is being recycled at a rate of only 10-12 percent each year.

  At Fesmire we address this problem by recycling 100 percent of the foam waste associated with our customers’ appliance deliveries.  EPS is fed by conveyor belt into a shredder.  The shredded EPS is then run through an EPS densifier where it’s exposed to heat and pressure.  This melting process condenses the foam to a solid continuous form of polystyrene.  It can then easily, and more cost effectively be transported to factories for remolding into new EPS or plastic products.


  In 2013 J.S. Fesmire Hauling recycled 600 tons of Expanded Polystyrene.  Our EPS recycling efforts have not only saved a tremendous amount of landfill space, but as with misc. plastics, saved energy, water and non-renewable natural resources. 

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