Athens-Clarke County, GA
Awarded Foam Recycling Coalition Grant

RELEASED 8/22/2016

Thanks to a $29,000 grant from the Foam Recycling Coalition, Athens-Clarke County, Georgia will expand foam polystyrene collection at its Center for Hard to Recycle Materials (CHaRM).

Athens-Clarke County Solid Waste Department, serving a population of 125,000, will use the grant money to buy densifiers that compact foam polystyrene into condensed bricks. These bricks can then be shipped in greater quantities to polystyrene recyclers and other end markets. 

The CHaRM, located just north of downtown Athens, already accepts materials such as paint, lamps, batteries, film plastic, clothing, automotive fluids and foam polystyrene. Currently individuals can drop off foam protective packaging at no charge. The grant will allow the addition of food-grade foam products like cups, egg cartons and meat trays, and increase efficiency in the collection, management and transport of post-consumer foam polystyrene. The funding will allow Athens-Clarke County to expand service to large quantity polystyrene generators, and free up funding to add other recyclable materials into the center’s program. 

"The Athens-Clarke County community has shown a progressive attitude toward material recovery," said Lynn Dyer, president of the Foodservice Packaging Institute, which houses the coalition. "Their operation has already demonstrated an outstanding ability to recycle a wide array of post-consumer items which makes them an excellent choice for this grant."

"We're excited and grateful for this award from the Foam Recycling Coalition," said ACC Solid Waste Department Director Suki Janssen. "Athens-Clarke residents have been asking about foam recycling for years, and adding foam to our expanding list of CHaRM items makes perfect sense. Diverting this material to domestic manufacturing is a key component in supporting Georgia’s recovered economy." 

The $29,000 grant is made possible through contributions to the Foam Recycling Coalition, which focuses exclusively on increased recycling of post-consumer foam polystyrene. Its members include Americas Styrenics; Cascades Canada ULC; CKF Inc.; Chick-fil-A; Commodore; Convermex; Dart Container Corp.; Dolco Packaging, A Tekni-Plex Company; Dyne-A-Pak; Genpak; Hawaii Foam Products; NOVA Chemicals Corp.; Pactiv Foodservice/Food Packaging; Shell Chemical LP; Styrolution America; and TOTAL Petrochemicals & Refining USA. Additional support of the coalition comes from the EPS Industry Alliance.

Athens-Clarke County is the first grant recipient of 2016, yet the Foam Recycling Coalition will offer more grants that support foam recycling in residential curbside, drop-off, and commercial collection programs this year. The coalition plans to announce the additional grant recipients throughout the fall. More information about foam recycling and how to apply for a coalition grant is available at