Recycling foam as with all material recycling has a value. The value is in respect to the amount of costs that are applied in processing the materials. Many companies are looking to gain an edge with their waste expenditures. Minimizing waste expenses directly affects profitability. Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) is a lightweight, large volume material that fills dumpsters quickly. Frequent waste removal costs businesses thousands in unnecessary waste expenditures. Expanded polystyrene is usually less than five percent plastic, the rest of the product is air introduced into the bead in the expansion stage of molding the foam product. What this means is that for the amount of space EPS products consume there is little mass or weight. Removing the material from the waste stream and utilizing compacting technology can save large sums of expenses.
Two expenses need to be minimized to truly provide the value in this program. Labor force and energy usage are potentially the two largest expenses in foam recycling programs or any recycling program for that matter. The initial cost of equipment will be a small percentage of the costs to run a foam recycling program. Acquiring equipment that is low in energy consumption while not affecting performance, and utilizing appropriately sized equipment to minimize labor will streamline annual expenses. Labor and energy are an expense that is accrued annually that should be minimized anyway possible to provide a cost effective project.
Labor is key to minimizing because it is an annual cost that affects the bottom-line quite tremendously. Utilizing compactors that minimize operational hours can provide quite a savings. If you can provide a part-time job instead of a full-time job think of the amount of savings from benefit packages and other expenses that incur while hiring additional workforce. If you have an operation running equipment ten hours a week instead of forty; what type of potential savings is that annually? Maybe using larger equipment means that current employees may operate the equipment a few hours a week; instead of hiring additional workforce. Anyway we look at this the larger initial equipment expense will outweigh additional operating and workforce hours.
Energy expense is a number that should to be scrutinized. Efficient energy consumption is a must for foam recycling equipment. High energy consumption reduces any profits that would be attained through this recycling venture. Many different types of processing equipment are on the market. While there are many compacting systems that claim quality processing, we also need to look at the energy usage of the equipment. Energy consumption is another major contributor to program expenses; far outweighing the initial cost of the equipment. Annual energy consumption, like labor expenses can make or break the recycling operation.
Have you been watching the Euro?
In case you haven't noticed, Foam Equipment & Consulting Company is the North American Representative (Sales, Service, Parts and Consulting) for several German machine builders. For these companies, we are the sole rep. Between the different machinery lines for the foam molding industry and the foam recycling industry, (expandable polystyrene, expandable polyethylene, expandable polypropylene and extruded polystyrene), we have molding machinery, filling injectors, EPS, EPE and EPP grinding equipment, and foam compactors for the densification of foam, for recycling purposes.
What's that got to do with the Euro you ask? Well, this equipment comes from Germany. This is German engineering and technology at its best. And you know what that means. It's not the most inexpensive equipment out there. But like anything else, you get what you pay for.
But if you have not been watching the Euro, it's a good time to take a look at it. If you are interested in buying our German equipment, it's time to make a move. Like all other things, it probably won't stay down forever. At the current price, it's close to 25% cheaper to buy something today, than it was just 6 months ago. That can be significant. I bet your tip fees or the cost to empty your dumpster of foam has not gone down 25%, (while you continue to let that plastic go to the landfill.)
When we are able to save some money on the Styrofoam recycling equipment or molding equipment, we pass it on to our customers.
Currently the Euro is below the average of the last 500 days.