Many people think that EPS is a big contributing factor to solid waste when in fact it is only 0.1% of Municipal Solid Waste. This misconception comes from the highly visual nature of EPS. It is a very bulky and usually white material that makes it much easier to see compared to other solid waste.
EPS is an unbelievable material as well because it is 100% recyclable! Many businesses have started to set up collection areas, along with Marko Foam, for people to drop off used EPS to be recycled. In order to recycle EPS a compacting machine is used which reduces the size of the EPS by 40-95% that is then transformed into recycled polystyrene pellets.
A landfill is the least desirable option among all of the waste management alternatives mentioned above. Dumping EPS into a landfill means that all the natural resources that are in EPS are being wasted. If there is no other option then EPS can be put into a landfill, as it is inert, non-toxic and stable. EPS does not decompose so it won’t contribute to the formation of methane or any other chemicals in the atmosphere or seep into underground water supplies. Another way to use the old EPS is to clean burn it and recover the energy instead of sending the waste to landfills. There are no toxic emissions produced from this method due to the high temperatures that are used to incinerate the EPS at special facilities. The by-products from this process are steam, carbon dioxide and very low levels of non-toxic ash. The emissions are less harmful than a typical campfire!