Elgin Businessman Seeks to Transform Foam Recycling

Kenneth Santowski, owner of Chicago Logistic Service (CLS) in Elgin, wants to create a polystyrene foam recycling program that can be imitated anywhere in the United States. Santowski is making it his mission to correct people’s recycling behavior and educate them about the benefits and availability of foam recycling.

Over the past 10 years, Santowski and his business partner have collected, hauled, and sorted used polystyrene foam products so that they don’t end up in landfills. CLS then holds the foam products on their property until recyclers can haul it away.

To contribute to Santowski’s efforts, visit his GoFundMe page.

The truth about foam

One of the misconceptions surrounding polystyrene foam is its link to Styrofoam. Though both polystyrene foam and Styrofoam are No. 6 plastics, Styrofoam is a registered trademark of the Dow Chemical Company, and is mainly used for insulation.

Another misconception is that polystyrene foam can’t be recycled. That’s simply not true. Foam is recycled at facilities across the country, including a plant that Dart recently opened in Indianapolis. When it is recycled, EPS can be used to make items like rulers, surfboards, garden nursery trays, and picture frames. It’s also used in architectural molding and in eco-initiatives, such as alternative energy production and “green” buildings.

Furthermore, after foam is recycled into pellets, companies like Rubbermaid and 3M use the material to make new products such as filing trays and tape dispensers.

Foam Recycling