Local recycling company encourages community to recycle foam

Published: Feb. 7, 2020 at 4:21 PM PST
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A local recycling company is doing their part to eliminate foam waste, but they need your help.

"Foam is actually plastic so like any plastic product, it's not going anywhere and ends up in our oceans and in a lot of places of where we don't want it," said Jimmy Ibarra, production manager at Atlas Molded Products.

That's why Atlas Molded Products is encouraging the community to recycle foam at their center.

EPS or expanded polystyrene is everywhere.

It's in walls, coolers and even at a quick wouldn't know it but the sign at the Peppermill is made of foam.

"Anything related to EPS, you will see in your recycle icon," added Ibarra. "That's on the bottom of these pieces of material."

While waste management does a good job of recycling plastics, they can't recycle foam products.

"If you're like me, you might have thrown some EPS out in your recycling bin at some point and maybe got a letter from Waste Management saying you threw the wrong material in your recycle bin," explained Ibarra. "A lot of that is referring to foam."

The problem? EPS contains plastic resin which needs to be melted down.

"So what we will do with it is grind it down and compact it in these really dense blocks," said Ibarra. "We sell it overseas as 100% EPS products."

Atlas Molded Products packed out 238 tons of expanded polystyrene in their facility last year, which will either be be packed out or be reused in our community.

Their need to spread awareness is not only to reduce our landfills of waste but to push everyone to be more environmentally conscious.

"I think the biggest misconception is that there's nothing you can do with it after you unpack a TV or unpack an appliance," added Ibarra. "Most people are putting it in their garbage."

You can drop off foam at 13695 Mt. Anderson in the Stead area from 7 am - 5 pm, Monday through Friday.

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