EPS Foam Recycling at Muhlenberg College Move-In Day – A College F.A.R.E. Event

EPS Foam Recycling at Muhlenberg College

A College F.A.R.E. Event
Facts and Awareness about Recycling EPS

August 23, 2018 – ICA was ready for the 2nd Annual College F.A.R.E. event at Muhlenberg College located in Allentown, Pennsylvania. F.A.R.E. – Facts and Awareness about Recycling EPS brought to our local community to help dissipate the misconceptions about EPS recyclability. Sadly, most people do not know it is recyclable and it is clean recycling! By clean recycling we mean, no other additives are needed in order for it to be reproduced back into an EPS product. We are thankful to continue to work with Muhlenberg College, who is appreciative of our efforts and welcome us to their community to help with our quest to educate their students, the parents and the staff of the college.

After the event we asked Kalyna, Muhlenberg’s Sustainability Coordinator, to share her thoughts:

“ICA’s participation in our Freshman Move-In was an important piece of our sustainability programming for that day. Muhlenberg College has a strong commitment to sustainable operations and teaching the next generation of citizens about living sustainably, reducing waste and recycling what we can. Before our involvement with ICA, I did not know that styrofoam was being recycled locally. Our students similarly did not know that styrofoam could be recycled. We welcome your participation in the event and your partnership with Muhlenberg’s sustainability efforts.” ~ Kalyna A. Procyk, J.D.

When Kalyna references ‘styrofoam’, she means EPS foam. Styrofoam is a brand name by Dow Chemical, a common misconception across the board.
 

How did all of this get started around a college move-in day? Let’s fill you in.

 
ICA partnered with Muhlenberg College, located in Allentown Pennsylvania, on their Freshman Move-In Day to support their commitment to sustainability. We were thrilled for the opportunity of a perfect platform to reach a multi-generational audience about recycling EPS! The misconceptions about recycling EPS are many, and so we welcomed this event to help clean out the trash about it! We created F.A.R.E. – Facts and Awareness about Recycling EPS.

August 24th, 2017 was a beautiful Freshman Move-In day at Muhleberg College and we were there for our 1st College F.A.R.E. event. Muhlenberg incorporates sustainability into its education and facilities and every year they are committed to taking it to the next level. Muhlenberg recycled 796 tons of single stream recycling in the last calendar year. ICA partnered with Muhlenberg College, SWS (Sustainable Waste Solutions), the Muhlenberg Sustainability team and volunteer students to add EPS to the items being recycled from the big day. It served as a wonderful opportunity to involve and educate the community about EPS recycling. Working together with the other teams, we sorted out the recyclables to make this event successful. Overall, 1.58 tons of cardboard and ten large 72″ x 78″ bagfuls of EPS foam were collected. That’s a large amount of expanded polystyrene that was saved from the trash and will now be recycled into usable product!

Not only was there recycling taking place, but there was also some repurposing. Plastic shopping bags were being gathered for Muhlenberg’s knitting club, who are cleverly called the Knit Wits. The Knit Wits turn the bags into plarn (plastic yarn) and knit mattresses for the homeless. Overall, approximately 80% of all the trash was sorted to be recycled or repurposed. It was a great opportunity to be on-site to educate students and faculty about the recyclability of EPS foam. We hope the word continues to spread and we can eventually trash the myths that surround the white stuff.

Does proper recycling take some effort? Sure it does.

Is it hard? It doesn’t have to be. 

Putting in a little effort to keep our environment healthy and sustainable is certainly well worth it! So remember, say Y-E-S to recycling EPS and all your recyclable goods.

 

 

 

 

To learn more, please visit our new friends @:

Muhlenberg College

Muhlenberg College Sustainability

SWS (Sustainable Waste Solutions)

 

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This report was brought to you by Insulation Corporation of America (ICA) – a Women-Owned manufacturer of Geofoam and Expanded Polystyrene (EPS), which is commonly but mistakenly referred to as Styrofoam™. ICA is located in Allentown, PA and services the entire Mid-Atlantic Region from Virginia to Maine to Ohio.