The Fort Hood military post of Killeen, Texas has decided to make efforts to pursue initiating a more robust recycling plan this year. The goal of this effort is to meet a ‘Zero Net Waste’ goal by making recycling simple and cost effective for all individuals on the base. One of the noted products to develop a plan for is polystyrene foam, commonly referred to as Styrofoam®, a registered trademark of the Dow Chemical Company.
Leading this charge is the base’s new recycling manager, Mike Bush. Bush worked in the recycling industry for six years, and while stationed in Guangzhou and Beijing, China was responsible for the sales, marketing, operation and brokerage of recycle materials. With this past experience, Bush hopes to identify products on the base that can be captured and recycled. One of the initial products identified is polystyrene foam. Bush comments on foam, “It is 80-90 percent air, bulky and occupies a lot of space in the landfill; we are looking at a machine to process the Styrofoam here and then sell it to companies.”
One such company offering similar services is Dart Container Corporation. Much like the Fort Hood effort described, Dart has launched programs to promote the importance of polystyrene recycling to consumers and businesses alike. The CARE (Cups Are REcyclable) and Recycla-Pak programs, for example, specifically make the recycling of single-use foam cups easy. The CARE program provides users with their own densifying device to compress foam waste, which is then purchased by manufacturers for use in producing new items, such as picture frames and crown molding.
Implementing initiatives such as this throughout 2013 will actively bring Fort Hood closer to its new Zero Net Waste goal. Bush states, “I am looking forward to seeing the program grow throughout the installation, tying world markets to Fort Hood and meeting the goals we have set here.”