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County receives $50,000 grant for foam recycling equipment

The Foam Recycling Coalition has awarded a $50,000 grant to McLeod County, to help it expand its foam polystyrene recycling operation. McLeod County Solid Waste Management will buy a foam polystyrene densifier for the newly retrofitted county-owned material recovery facility (MRF) located in Hutchinson.
The McLeod County MRF, which now accepts single-stream recycling, will sort foam polystyrene products including cups, egg cartons, meat trays, and carry-out containers. The densifier bought with the grant money will compact these foam materials into condensed bricks that the county can easily ship to recycling markets in truckload quantities.
“McLeod County will be a great partner in advancing foam polystyrene recovery in the region,” said Lynn Dyer, president of the Foodservice Packaging Institute, which houses the coalition. “McLeod County provides excellent service to the region, and the densifier will enable them to enhance that service and divert a large amount of foam from landfill disposal.”
A waste characterization study commissioned by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency in 2013 showed that foam polystyrene comprises less than 1 percent of waste sent to local landfills. McLeod County Solid Waste management believes that its MRF, which accepts material from municipalities, haulers, businesses, nonprofits, and other recycling facilities, serving a region with a population of over 550,000, can serve as a resource to recover foam polystyrene currently destined for the landfill.

For more, see the Sept. 28 print edition of The Chronicle.