St. Lucie County of Florida starts foam recycling thanks to the grant from Foam Recycling Coalition

Following Collier, on Dec.1, 2020, St. Lucie County has become the second Florida city to receive Foam Recycling Coalition’s grant and start foam recycling. Since a single-stream program in 2014, the St. Lucie MRF has processed 200 to 300 tons of recyclables per day and had an accommodation rate as low as 15% to 18%. While the data has proven their program was successful, many residents feedback the absence of curbside foam recycling. Thanks to the $50000 grant from Foam Recycling Coalition, the urgent problem has the opportunity to be solved.

“The new grant funding allows us to expand our current collection program and help us satisfy our residents’ requests for increasing foam recycling efforts within our county,” said Rebecca Olson, Assistant Director for St. Lucie County Solid Waste and Recycling. As Rebecca Olson said, with this grant, St. Lucie County can not only promote foam recycling education, buy and install foam densifiers, but also collect foam materials. 

Currently, foam materials accepted are foam packaging from appliances, furniture, and electronic equipment as well as clean foodservice packaging, such as egg cartons, coffee cups, light-colored meat trays, and foam coolers from local businesses and self-delivery from residents. Although there is only one drop-off location located at the County landfill at 6120 Glades Cutoff Road, Fort Pierce, many communities also provide foam recycling services. The collected foam will be placed in the newly purchased foam densifier. When the loose foam comes out of the machine, it will become a solid foam and the volume will be reduced by 90 times.

From 2015, FRC has granted a lot of localities. St. Lucie County is the 16th beneficiary. As a result of FRC’s grants, over 4 million increased residents in America and Canada can implement foam recycling. Thanks to the members of FRC and other organizations dedicated to environmental protection, which has saved the lives of marine animals who would mistakenly eat foam and made our living environment tidy. Every one of us should learn from them and exhaust our ability to do foam recycling!