Pacific Seafood Company Recycles, Sells Waste Styrofoam

Pacific Seafood Company Recycles, Sells Waste Styrofoam

Foam pile - http://www.flickr.com/photos/bhollar/ / CC BY 2.0

Since starting a program for recycling expanded polystyrene foam (more commonly, but not technically, called styrofoam), Pacific Seafood has recycled and sold more than 300,000 pounds of packaging material that it used to toss in the trash.

Pacific Seafood started its recycling program about a year ago, investing in an in-house machine that can crush the material for easy transportation. "I had been looking for a way to reduce styrofoam waste for several years," said Kurt Mitchell, Pacific Seafood's Northwest operations manager. "In the past we were throwing away 4,000 pounds of just styrofoam per week."

With the new system, waste foam packaging from the company's Oregon and Washington distribution facilities is gathered and condensed down to dense, two-foot blocks. Pacific Seafood sells the blocks to NEPCO, the company that provided the recycling machine, and the material ends up being ground into beads and turned into molding, picture frames and other goods.

Pacific Seafood's Northwest division has also worked to find uses for other wastes. It gives all of its used wax cardboard to a local company that composts it, sells plastic shrink wrap and fiber bales (about 40,000 pounds worth every two weeks) to a local recycler and sends broken wood pallets to be turned into mulch.

Last year, the company's Clackamas, Ore., facility, diverted more than 600,000 pounds of material from landfills due to the company's various recycling programs.

Foam pile - http://www.flickr.com/photos/bhollar/ / CC BY 2.0