The City of Waco is among cities that have recently started programs to divert EPS from landfills. We caught up with Kody Petillo, Assistant Director of Solid Waste for the City of Waco, for details.
Waco leases equipment from Dart Container and collects EPS at its recycling drop-off center. The machine densifies EPS into long, solid “beams.” Dart collects the densified EPS, and the material is then sent to manufacturers to be made into new items like molding and picture frames. This keeps it out of landfills, as well as the water and soil. You can watch a video of the machine in action.
Since 2019, Waco has hosted ten EPS collection events, hauling three truckloads of densified EPS to Dart Container’s facility in Waxahachie after each collection. In February 2022, they launched an EPS collection and processing demonstration at the Cobbs Recycling Center. The facility is now open six days a week and has seen consistent drop-offs since the demonstration.
Petillo says the Cobbs Recycling Center takes household recyclables, including notoriously difficult to recycle EPS foam, from anyone. Residents living in surrounding communities, passing through Central Texas, or even just in town as a tourist are all encouraged to drop off their clean EPS products. The City of Waco Solid Waste Department encourages more municipalities, Council of Governments, and private drop-off centers to research the Dart CARE program, which simplifies the process of managing the program and its costs.
Other cities have been instituting similar programs. The City of Frisco earned a Texas Environmental Excellence Award for Innovative Operations/Management for its recycling program in 2020, which includes an EPS foam densifier.