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.
The demand for sustainability of all materials whether expanded foam plastics or any other materials are becoming the way of life. When recycling foam materials such as expanded polyethylene and polypropylene, economic transportation becomes one of the major issues pertaining to the ability for a successful recycling program of these materials.
Expanded polyethylene and expanded polypropylene have been providing solutions to a variety of packaging and energy absorption needs. In most cases these materials are fully recyclable and have a value in the arena of recycled commodities. The value for recycled polyethylene and polypropylene climb as new avenues for these recycled materials increases. Environmental debates over plastic materials also drive the demand to divert these foam materials from the landfill. Yet, all too often these fine materials that have demand in the market place are sent to the landfill as waste.
Both expanded polyethylene and polypropylene have great potential for recyclability and the present value reflects that. While similar to expanded polystyrene (EPS) recycling, expanded polyethylene and polypropylene do have distinct differences that separate the materials from processing in the same manner as expanded polystyrene. Compacting equipment is necessary for economic recycling of foam materials, but different than EPS recycling, most expanded polyethylene and polypropylene will need a way for the materials to remain compressed after processing because of the high memory of these particular materials.
Unlike many polyethylene and polypropylene films that can be baled for consolidation to an end-user; expanded/extruded polyethylene foam and polypropylene foams can not be compressed to ideal densities and retain compression with normal baling equipment. To attain an appropriate compression density for economical transportation, a foam compactor that will process expanded polyethylene and polypropylene must be utilized. Having the appropriate compacting equipment will not only provide compression densities that will enable maximum load capacities on a trailer, but will also provide a means of ease in palletizing and /or loading of trailers.
Heger compacters provide both of the necessary elements to attain such compression and ease of palletizing. With the use of a foam compactor, economic transportation of a valuable commodity ensues. Companies taking this action reduce the waste to landfills and provide value that positively affects business revenue.
For information on Heger Compacting Systems www.foamequipment.com/compactors
By guest blogger Tamara Teubert
I’m from Germany and I have been in the United States for six month and travelling through the whole country.
So I saw a lot of different places and I noticed that recycling in general is different than in Germany.
We recycle everything and we separate everything: We have biological waste, which we use for composting. Then we have paper, plastic, glass and household waste separate. We also separate the different kind of glass, like green glass, white glass and brown glass. I’ve never seen that in the USA. And in my experience the most people here throw everything in the same garbage.
Now I’m doing an internship at Foam Equipment + Consulting Co. and hear a lot about recycling and recognize that I don’t know much about that.
I started to think about that.
In school we’ve never talked about recycling our normal garbage. We were only taught about recycling nuclear waste. But now I think it would make more sense, if we learn something about recycling our garbage first and then studying about this big problem with the nuclear waste.
And I think it’s pretty interesting to know the differences of recycling in the different countries, too. Because I know now there are differences.
I’m wondering if recycling is a topic in school here, in the United States.
The latest EPS recycling report was just released by the Alliance of Foam Packaging Recyclers (AFPR). The 2010 report shows a considerable increase in the EPS recycling percentage over the 2008 report, even during a poor economy when less EPS was sold.
EPS used for shape molding applications such as packaging has one of the highest recycling rates of all plastics, increasing from 19.5% in 2008 to 28% in 2010.
This is encouraging news as many people are still unaware that EPS and Styrofoam are recyclable. Based on the calls we receive, the concept of recycling EPS packaging is still new to many companies.
One of the hurdles to EPS recycling is collection and transportation. Many communities do not accept PS, EPS or Styrofoam at the neighborhood recycling center and very few communities accept Styrofoam in the curbside recycling program limiting the collection of post-consumer EPS.
A second hurdle that goes hand in hand with collection is a lack of compacting and densification equipment at the community recycling centers. Due to the bulkiness and light weight of EPS packaging, it should normally be compacted into a dense form before it is shipped to a plastics processor for recycling. Compacting the foam, which is approximately 98% air, makes transportation economical. Once a community decides it would like to add EPS and Styrofoam to their recycling program, a compactor specifically designed to densify EPS should be acquired.
As more communities add EPS and Styrofoam to their recycling programs, the recycling percentages for this material will continue to climb.
Or any other business for that matter.
What is up with all this social media? One of the products we handle is recycling equipment (compactors) for EPS and other foams like expandable polyethylene, expandable polypropylene. We have a pretty nice website too. Actually it's a great website. (boss built it). So do we really need to also have a Twitter account, a Facebook account, a YouTube account, a LinkedIn account, a BizBlogger account......blah...blah...blah.
I used to laugh at the kids, (kids being a relative term) watching them chat, tweet, blog, text, etc: h...o...w...r...u?...lol By the time I type that on a fly size keyboard, I can pick up the phone and call the person. (plus I'm not walking into people and walls while communicating) Who has time to "follow" someone on Twitter? I don't. Besides I don't need to know when Paris Hilton is taking her dog out to potty, or Oprah is eating lunch.
When I finish watching the news on channel 4, and at the end they tell me to find them on Facebook, I ask WHY? I just heard everything they had to say. And if I missed something, when I go to their website to look it up, why would I then want to go to another website after I have seen it on their website.
Blogs. Who has time to read them? Yet we are told to blog blog blog! Are you reading my blog? If so, tell me so. Comment. Tell me what a stupid post or something. Anything just to let me know someone took the time to read this.
All sounds a little crazy to me..........but
According to the experts we do need them. If we want to "stay up" with the latest craze, we must be socially network savvy. If we do not want to get left in the dust, we need to. Everyone is doing it. Get your info out there with everyone else. Do we want to be the only one who is left out of the social media loop? Well, I think not!
I am still not sure I understand it. But we're doing it. Hit us up on Twitter, a Facebook, LinkedIn, BizBloggeror check out our videos on YouTube. We are in the 21st century man!