A New Jersey manufacturer of architectural molding and picture frames is creating new opportunity out of recent legislation passed by New York City Council Members. While finishing up the 2013 calendar year, the New York City Council approved a bill that requires entities to prove that products made of polystyrene foam can be recycled in a responsible way, or they could be banned from the city by July of 2015. In light of this situation, Princeton Moulding Group, LLC has implemented a strategy to take advantage of newly formed foam collection efforts and increase their own production. When discussing to polystyrene foam, consumers often mistakenly refer to it as Styrofoam®, which is a registered trademark of the Dow Chemical Company. Banning this material would prohibit the use of foam foodservice items that many NYC restaurants and eateries depend on and most consumers prefer.
Princeton Moulding uses polystyrene foam products as a recycled material to reuse in the manufacturing of many of their own products. In the past, the company has been forced to purchase and ship-in polystyrene foam from various companies, but now they are able to source locally donated foam from NYC. With the help of Dart Container Corporation, Princeton Moulding has organized a more formal, large-scale drop-off collection for the public to responsibly dispose of their foam waste. Gary Frederick, co-owner of Princeton Moulding comments that, “The more you can collect the less you have to buy. It’s good for the environment and creates local jobs; we’re really, really busy and that’s a good thing.”
Implementing foam collection drives and recycling programs are not new initiatives for Dart Container; the organization has been working for many years on these efforts, as well as educating the public. It’s a common misconception that foam products cannot be recycled, but Dart Container is working to change that stigma. According to Michael Westerfield, Dart’s director of recycling programs, “It’s an uphill battle, a real perception issue. It’s ingrained in people at an early age that [foam] is not recyclable. That was a battle that we’ve had in New York City, especially with folks telling elected officials things that were incorrect. We’re saying no, it’s recyclable, we just need to give people access. That’s what we have to do everywhere.”
Collecting donated polystyrene foam will allow Princeton Moulding to do more business and continue to move forward with their current 24-hour operating schedule. By using the recycled material, the company is able to manufacture more end-products and create new job opportunities. Banning polystyrene foam would not only be a hindrance to restaurants and eateries in NYC, but also organizations like Princeton Moulding, which benefit greatly from the use of it.