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Foamex plant upgrade boosts polystyrene recycling capability

Building product supplier Foamex has upgraded its Bayswater North plant with a recycling machine that allows it to recycle polystyrene more efficiently.

Foamex General Manager for Victoria and South Australia Justin Kelsey said that the plant received a $250,000 upgrade, with the installation of a state-of-the-art recycling machine, greatly increasing the efficiency of how the company recycles.

“The machine combines the function of crushing, compacting and pelletising into one step, reducing manual labour and increasing the amount of product we can recycle,” Kelsey said.

Foamex is currently recycling about 450 kg of polystyrene per week, collecting scrap polystyrene from several sources:

  • Excess product and offcuts from building sites.
  • Offcuts from the factory floor.
  • Commercial recycling agreements Foamex has with customers such as packaging clients.
  • General public via recycling bins at Foamex plants.
     

Foamex supplies the building industry with bags for clean-up on-site and works closely with contractors to pick up unused waste or end-of-use expanded polystyrene (EPS), transporting it safely to Foamex’s manufacturing facility.

When Foamex delivers packaging products to its packaging industry clients, particularly those in food transport, the driver also picks up the used polystyrene packaging and brings it back to the plant for recycling.

“We are getting an increasing number of members of the public dropping off polystyrene packaging often used to transport electronic items, at our depots in Victoria and South Australia.

“We have bins at our depots to drop off the unwanted, often bulky, clean polystyrene for recycling. We inspect all the packaging to ensure it is free from any sticky tape, food or other contaminants because it needs to be clean for our recycling machine,” Kelsey added.

The recycled material is used in the manufacture of polystyrene products that are either expanded or extruded.

“Minimising our impact on the environment will always be at the forefront of our business. Our environmentally friendly approach can be seen throughout the organisation — from how we manufacture our polystyrene, recycling offcuts and waste, and working with our customers to ensure unwanted polystyrene is brought back to our facilities for repurposing.

“As an industry leader and long-serving member of Expanded Polystyrene Australia (EPSA), we take our social responsibilities seriously and carefully consider how our business impacts the environment and society. We are constantly reviewing our processes to ensure a more efficient way of doing business,” Kelsey concluded.

Clean polystyrene can be dropped off at the following Foamex premises:

Foamex Group (Head Office): 31–33 Gatwick Road, Bayswater North, Vic | 03 8739 5800

Foamex North: 17–21 Freight Drive, Somerton, Vic | 03 9308 0045

Foamex West: 430 Barry Road, Coolaroo, Vic | 03 9302 1022 from 1 July 2021

Foamex South Australia: 15 Peachey Road, Edinburgh North, SA | 08 8349 9919

Drop-off times are from 8 am to 2 pm Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays). Members of the public are asked to call before they arrive as a staff member is required to inspect the polystyrene for cleanliness before accepting it.

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