How to recycle foam containers: Dart launches website

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By Daniel Hamburg
Mason Times staff writer

Most people in the community take out the recycling bin every week full of plastics, glass and paper products, many resources that could be recycled are in the trash can and headed for the landfill. The Dart Container Corporation, headquartered in Mason, launched a website last month to help people take some of those items out of the trash.

Michael Westerfield, corporate director of recycling programs at Dart Container, says people all over the country use foam, but don’t know what to do with it when they’re done.

“We’re getting calls from schools, businesses, individuals wanting to know how they can recycle foam,” Westerfield said. “We were getting so many calls that we realized we needed to make a website that addressed not only food-service containers, but all foam.”

From foam blocks used to protect TVs in packages, to polystyrene cafeteria trays, a lot of foam ends up in landfills.

The new resource center created by the Dart Container Corporation is called Home For Foam.

“We wanted to create a one-stop shop that the public, businesses and schools could go to, to learn how to recycle foam,” Westerfield said.

According to Jeff Walker, a product launch expert, the new website will help school districts like Mason Public Schools recycle more materials.

Chris Salmon, the director of food services for Dansville and Mason Public Schools, says in Mason, only the high school uses foam trays in the cafeteria. However, it doesn’t have a recycling system in place for that foam.

In Dansville, only the elementary school kids use foam trays. Some employees take the trays that the kids stack and put in the garbage. They get rinsed off and bagged, and one employee goes out of the way to drive the trays to Mason to drop off at a recycling plant.

Westerfield said the website is a tool that people can use to streamline recycling efforts and set up new recycling routines in their community.

“It’s for people that are looking for solutions,” Westerfield said. “The website serves a role that we’ve been filling, taking all these phone calls and then trying to redirect people.”

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