Illinois opens foam recycling facility

Foam recycling has arrived in Kane County. Dart Container Corporation of Illinois unveiled its latest post-consumer foam recycling drop-off site – the first in the state. As one of a growing number of regions to be equipped with foam recycling infrastructure, the free drop-off will pioneer a new way for Illinois residents, businesses and organizations to use and reuse foam with the number 6 on it.

This is the state’s first public site to accept foam food service containers, including foam cups, plates, take-out containers, egg cartons, as well as shaped or molded foam often used to package electronics. This effort, Dart’s tenth drop-off location in the country, will divert foam from area landfills and allow it to be recycled into new products such as picture frames and moldings.

“We’re thrilled to open our first public drop-off in Illinois and will continue to open new collections centers across the country,” said Michael Westerfield. “Dart wants to heighten public awareness that foam is recyclable. Throwing foam away is easy, but we hope that this new facility will provide private residents, businesses and organizations with an equally as easy alternative to recycle it instead of contributing to the waste stream.”

Once foam is dropped off at Dart, it is then compacted and shipped to a company that will use it as feedstock to make new materials. To be accepted for recycling, the foam must bear the “6” symbol with chasing arrows.

To mark the occasion, Dart Corporation held a ribbon-cutting ceremony outside of the new drop off facility at Dart Container Corp. of Illinois. In attendance was United States Congressman Bill Foster, Village of North Aurora President Dale Berman and Trustee Mark Gaffino, Jonathan Wood of the Board of Education in West Aurora, and Julie DeVilbiss of Insite Managed Services.

Dart is driving recycling efforts from its manufacturing facilities to workplaces, warehouse recycling centers and consumers’ homes in curbside recycling efforts across the country. Recycled foam food service products can be reprocessed into building insulation, plastic lumber, and many other products.

Foam products generate less waste in their production than paper alternatives, are stable and safe in landfills, and burn cleanly in modern municipal energy-from-waste facilities.