In our previous blog post?Can Siding Insulation Be Recycled??we explained that products made of expanded polystyrene (EPS) can be recycled rather than thrown in the landfill after their life. The EPS Industry Alliance (EPS-IA) recently published a report showing that over 93 million pounds of EPS were recycled during the 2012 calendar year.
Prior to 1988, there was essentially no recovery of post-consumer polystyrene for recycling. Although the availability of recycling programs today varies by community, in 2012 more than 36.7 million pounds of post-consumer polystyrene was recycled.
There are two types of EPS material outlined in the report, post-commercial and post industrial:
- Post commercial= Any material that is recycled after its intended end use. Ex: Old siding insulation that is removed from a home during a remodel and returned for recycling.
- Post-industrial= EPS manufacturing facility scrap that is recycled but never served its intended end use. Ex: scrap from the manufacturing process that is then recycled at the same facility.
EPS post consumer recycling represents 50% of all post-use polystyrene recycled in the US, and is one of the highest among the plastics family.
To find out of EPS recycling is available in your area, visit the EPS-IA website at www.epsindustry.org. For consumers that do not have access to a local drop-off center, the EPS-IA sponsors a National Take-Back Program intended for smaller quantities of EPS, which can be mailed via U.S. Postal Service or UPS to more than thirty locations nationwide. Full instructions and a list of Take-Back locations are available on the EPS-IA website.