Foam Equipment's Blog

Labor And Energy Efficiency In Foam Recycling

Posted by Chad Plotts

Nov 13, 2012 12:05:00 PM

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-Saving Bulb courtesy of Haron Varlan


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.

Topics: compactor, EPS, recycling, eps recycling, Economy, sustainablity