Cook County Expands Foam Recycling

Kate Carney

South Suburban College in partnership with Cook County Government, received a $50,000 grant from the Foodservice Packaging Institute’s Foam Recycling Coalition (FRC) that enables the Illinois county’s residents to recycle materials, such as foam polystyrene cups, plates, bowls, clamshells, egg cartons and meat trays, as well as block packaging foam, at its local drop-off center. The FRC grant assisted with funding the purchase and installation of a foam densifier at the newly opened Center for Hard to Recycle Materials (CHaRM) Center in South Holland on the South Suburban College campus.

The CHaRM Center is centrally located near 53 communities with over 268,000 households in Cook County that have the lowest recycling and diversion rates, including 37 municipalities below the median income and 33 municipalities that are designated Environmental Justice areas. “Cook County is proud to partner with South Suburban College to establish a permanent recycling facility for all Cook County residents,” said Anthony Tindall, solid waste coordinator for Cook County. “The County is grateful to the Foodservice Packaging Institute’s Foam Recycling Coalition for this funding to further recycling efforts across the region. Expanding the types of foam polystyrene collected at the CHaRM Center to include food products will help keep even more waste out of landfills and ultimately create a healthier environment for all residents.”

The grant is made possible through contributions to FRC, which focuses exclusively on increased recycling of post-consumer foam polystyrene. Its members include Americas Styrenics; Chick-fil-A; CKF Inc.; Dart Container Corp.; Dyne-A-Pak; Genpak; INEOS Styrolution America LLC; Lifoam Industries, LLC; Pactiv Evergreen; and Republic Plastics.

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