Solid waste to host foam recycling extravaganza

The Madison County Department of Solid Waste hosted a polystyrene foam recycling event on April 22, in honor of Earth Day. Residents had the opportunity to bring expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam to any residential transfer station in Madison County, during regular business hours for those stations. The recycling event ran from April 22 through 30.

The Earth Day recycling event formed part of a six-month pilot project started by the Solid Waste Department in 2015 in order to reduce EPS foam waste.

The recycling coordinator, Mary Bartlett, explained that in three months the department had collected 1,205 pounds of foam at just one transfer station. She noted that foam is extremely light and bulky, so this is a huge amount. She hopes that making foam recycling more convenient for residents throughout Madison County, by having collections at all transfer stations, will result in collecting even more expanded polystyrene foam.

Residential transfer stations collecting EPS foam included the main landfill station on Buyea Road, Cazenovia Transfer Station, Hamilton Transfer Station, and Sullivan Transfer Station.

Residents were encouraged to bring their expanded polystyrene foam #6 in a clear plastic bag (with all tape and labels removed) to one of the transfer sites, if they wished to participate in the program. Acceptable foam must be white and clean, including packaging foam, egg cartons and clean take-out containers.

Packing peanuts, soiled cartons, colored foam and packing made of materials other than foam were not be accepted.

James Zecca, the director of the Department of Solid Waste and Recycling, explained that the Department has been working diligently to find a practical way to recycle foam. In June 2016, Madison County will decide whether to continue the pilot recycling program.

Foam Recycling