Foam Cycle's styrofoam recycling technology receives U.S. patent
Foam Cycle, a foam packaging recycling system designed to be placed at outdoor municipal recycling drop-off centers, was recently issued a Utility Patent by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The patent outlines a "method and system of recycling polystyrene waste."
Foam packaging, also known as styrofoam, is one of the most plentiful, yet least recycled plastics used today. With packaging waste shifting from retailers to direct home delivery, foam packaging waste is too large to be placed in curbside containers and is not accepted by most single-stream recycling facilities. Foam packaging waste joins a long list of other hard-to-recycle materials that cannot be collected at the curb, such as mattresses, tires, rigid plastics, metals, and electronics. When dropped off at a recycling collection center equipped with a Foam Cycle system, foam packaging is able to be recycled.
The Foam Cycle system is designed as an encapsulated "plug and play" system to collect, recycle and repurpose foam packaging waste. When foam packaging waste is processed through the Foam Cycle system, 98 percent of the air is safely released and 2 percent of the polystyrene plastic is extruded, resulting in a 90-1 densification. Densified polystyrene foam, called ingots, has a very high resale value and is used in many industries to make new products, such as picture frames, RV panels and home insulation. Many of these finished products can be recycled again, resulting in a closed-loop recycling system.
The Foam Cycle unit can also process and recycle foam foodservice products like egg cartons, meat trays, cups, plates, takeout clamshells. Since food service foam is dropped off at a municipal recycling drop-off center by area residents and not placed in a curbside container, food service foam comes into a recycling facility 95 percent clean and ready to be recycled.
Once a Foam Cycle system is purchased, leased, or rented, Foam Cycle's team of will provide onsite support. The team will explain, educate, and train each municipal site location on the proper use of the system's densifier and which foam materials can and cannot be recycled.
"Foam Cycle's future growth and larger environmental impact will occur when we make our recycling system known and available to municipal recycling drop-off centres throughout the country," said Renee Garrin, Foam Cycle company spokesperson. "In order to achieve this goal, Foam Cycle will be looking to partner with one of the nation's largest waste and recycling haulers. This partnership would allow Foam Cycle access to hundreds of the company's recycling professionals, many of which have existing municipal contacts and relationships."