Earlier this week Dart Container Corp. announced the opening of a styrofoam recycling center in Randolph County. As I was reading the article I was taken back to my elementary school days, I can remember the lunch ladies taking out trash bags filled to the brink with styrofoam trays. Although I would like to say I was an environmentally aware 8 year-old, I'm sure I thought nothing of it at the time. To redeem myself for not standing up for the environment back then, I did a little research tonight and found out styrofoam is indeed not biodegradable. Of course not much thrown in our landfills is biodegradable, but as we all know styrofoam is extremely light so it has the potential to be abundant where people litter, mostly along waterways and coastal shores. I wonder what the Cape Fear River Keepers have to say about styrofoam?
It turns out every year the U.S. throws away 25 billion styrofoam cups. In 2007 New York City Schools went through 4 million lunch trays every week. This is a lot of material to be throwing into our nations landfills, so it is good to see a private industry taking the lead to find ways to recycle it. The drop offsite is on Wesleyan Rd. a few miles off of U.S. 220 near South Main St. It's open to the public, but a majority of the recycled material will come from schools, universities and businesses. Below is a video of a styrofoam compressor, much like the one they will use at Dart's facility.
Warning-Mute your computer first.