Madison County announced the continuation of its expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam recycling program in 2017 after holding a successful pilot program in 2016.
Polystyrene foam—not to be confused with Styrofoam, a registered trademark of the Dow Chemical Company—is used most often for common products like clamshell carryout containers, egg cartons, and coffee cups. It can be easily identified by the #6 symbol stamped on products.
In this voluntary program, residents of Madison County can bring their polystyrene foam to any transfer station during regular hours. The recycling program accepts clean, white polystyrene foam in clear plastic bags with labels and tape removed. Although a few products like packing peanuts are not accepted, you can drop off both foodservice and packaging foam products, such as packing material that comes with electronics and kitchen appliances.
Compared to other recycled items, foam is a valuable recycling commodity. EPS is recycled in select areas across the country, including many locations in New York. When it is recycled properly, foam can be remade into products like smoke detectors, rulers, picture frames, crown molding, and surfboards.
Madison County plans to take advantage of the 2016 pilot program’s success, and has already installed a densifier to crush the polystyrene into a smaller size to provide for efficient transportation, thereby allowing the county to capitalize on recycled foam’s value.
For more information contact Mary Bartlett, Madison County Dept. of Solid Waste Recycling Hotline, at 1-800-721-2208.