Polystyrene Foam Recycling

With over 20 years of experience, Generated Materials Recovery (GMR) has been providing manufacturers and industrial operations with sustainable recycling solutions. We fine-tuned our recycling process over the years, ensuring that we can safely recover various foam types, such as polystyrene foam.

Polystyrene is an extruded closed-cell synthetic chemical made from styrene. Typically referred to as expanded polystyrene (EPS), the chemical can be used in solid and foam forms. A proper polystyrene foam recycling process is vital to avoid loading up landfills with non-biodegradable material.

In 2019 alone, roughly 136.8 million pounds of EPS was recycled by specialists like GMR. When you recycle your EPS materials with GMR, you’ll receive a tailored plan to fit your business’s specific needs for the highest quality solution.

Read on to learn more about polystyrene foam and the eco-friendly recycling process it undergoes.

Table of Contents

What is Polystyrene Foam?

Polystyrene is a water-resistant, thermal chemical used for a variety of appliances. Since the chemical can be safely combined with other additives and plastics, it is widely used in manufacturing and industrial materials. Polystyrene is even found in items such as children’s toys and surfboards.

Known for its cushioning and insulating properties, EPS is used primarily in packaging a variety of appliances and easily damaged high value products. Polystyrene is most commonly found in packaging products such as:

  • Household appliances (refrigerators, microwave ovens, air conditioning units, etc.)
  • Automobile parts (door paneling, knobs, trim, etc.)
  • Electronics (televisions, computers, etc.)

The versatility of polystyrene, and particularly EPS, creates a diverse range of uses for the chemical. However, since the chemical composition means it is non-biodegradable, expert recycling methods are necessary to cost effectively recycle the material.

How Polystyrene Foam Recycling Works

There are two main steps to the polystyrene foam recycling process. Let’s take a look at how to safely recycle your materials.

Prepare Your Materials

The first step in the polystyrene foam recycling process is to sort and prepare your materials. For companies that use multiple foam materials, such as polystyrene, polypropylene and polyethylene, they need to separate the three foams as they must be segregated in order to be recycled. This sorting also gives you a better idea of the amount of recyclable materials your business produces, allowing for a more customized recycling plan.

Once you’ve completed the sorting process, the polystyrene materials will need to be compressed for easier and more affordable transportation. Electing to leave your materials as is instead of compressing them will significantly increase your outbound transportation costs. GMR will provide you with the necessary equipment, such as a cold press or hold melt densifier, to condense your materials and prepare them for collection.

Collect and Transport Your Materials

When your polystyrene materials are densified and ready for shipment, transportation will arrive to pick up your recyclable materials and deliver them to GMR facilities and optimal end markets.

Your materials will be collected via van trailers by GMR, where they will be taken to an off-site reprocessing location to be properly recycled into new products.

Discover Your Eco-Friendly Solution With GMR

Generated Materials Recovery prides itself on the client-centric, eco-friendly approach to our polystyrene foam recycling process. Our professional team of experts understands that recycling may not be a high daily priority for your business, so we’ve established a simple sustainable system to reduce the burden of managing your growing pile of recyclable materials. Working closely with your business, we take the time to learn your specific recycling needs, sustainability goals and create a tailored plan based on your grades and volumes of materials.

Furthermore, GMR is dedicated to providing a transparent pricing model so that you know what to expect from the market. We pay close attention to the fluctuating commodity prices and share the current price so that our clients always receive the true market value for their recyclables.

To get started with your expanded polystyrene foam recycling project, please give us a call at (602) 353-9411 or schedule a consultation online today.

GMR handles grades of recyclable commodities few other companies would touch, and they help us reduce our monthly expenses.

How Can We Help You?

Fill out our contact form to schedule a time to talk with us about how GMR can help your company to increase recycling revenue, achieve sustainability goals, and meet efficiency targets.


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3444 N. 27th Ave. Phoenix, Arizona 85017
(602) 353-9411


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