Middletown Township today announced that it is the first town in the state of New Jersey to purchase a Styrofoam* recycling machine. Starting Thursday, December 26, residents of Middletown and Monmouth County can drop off clean EPS (Expanded Polystyrene) foam packaging materials from large items such as televisions, appliances, computers and furniture at several locations throughout town. The recycling collection sites are located at the Middletown Recycling Center (52 Kanes Lane; open from 8:30 AM-4:30 PM Thursday through Monday) and the Middletown Train Station (open 24/7). There will be another dropoff point in the Bayshore area in the near future.
The Township wanted to ensure that the machine would be installed by the holidays so the community could easily dispose of their Styrofoam packaging materials in an environmentally-safe way. “I am proud that Middletown is leading the charge on recycling Styrofoam in New Jersey,” said Mayor Tony Perry. “By recycling Styrofoam, we will be able to save a significant amount of space in the County landfill and give a product that could be harmful to our environment a second life.” The Township will be selling its end product to a local company that transforms recycled Styrofoam into durable products such as picture frames and crown molding.
Township officials weighed the financial and ecological benefits and determined that it would be more cost-effective to purchase its own machine rather than seeking sources of disposal outside the state. “The Foam Cycle Styrofoam recycling machine processes Styrofoam*/EPS to create an end product that can be sold and reused,” explained Public Works Director Ted Maloney. “Additionally, keeping Styrofoam out of our garbage stream has a significant impact on our ecological footprint since Styrofoam/EPS doesn’t break down in landfills.”
Middletown’s collection bins are the only ones in Monmouth County. By accepting Styrofoam from the entire County, the Township will be saving a significant amount of space and extending the life of the landfill. In addition, because the Township pays for landfill use by the ton, taking this material out of the equation will result in savings for taxpayers.
The Styrofoam recycling program is the beginning of the second phase of the Township’s Recycling Education Campaign that was launched last March. The goal is to help educate residents on how to recycle properly while providing them with eco-friendly ways to dispose of items that are not accepted in our single stream recycling system, such as plastic bags, plastic toys, rigid plastics, large metals items and Styrofoam/EPS.