Foam Recycling Introduced to Chicago Area

In 2009, Dart Container Corporation of Illinois unveiled in Aurora 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 allows Illinois residents, businesses and organizations to use and reuse foam with the #6 on it.

This is the state’s first public site to accept foam food service containers including foam cups, foam plates, foam take-out containers, foam egg cartons, as well as shaped or molded foam often used to package electronics.  This effort 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,” 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.

“The Village of North Aurora is extremely proud of our largest employer, Dart Container Corporation,” said Village of North Aurora President Dale Berman.  “The foam collection drop off is another example of demonstrating its commitment to our community.”

Dart is driving recycling efforts from its manufacturing facilities to workplaces, warehouse recycling centers and consumers’ homes in curbside recycling efforts across the country.  Often improperly called “Styrofoam,” a registered trademark of the Dow Chemical Company, Dart’s products are recyclable and reusable.  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.

Foam Recycling