Goodwill’s Green Works, a non-profit industrial recycler and subsidiary of Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit, received a $50,000 grant from the Foodservice Packaging Institute’s Foam Recycling Coalition (FRC). The grant enables approximately 1 million residents in Detroit and neighboring communities in Wayne, Washtenaw and Oakland counties to recycle materials such as foam polystyrene (PS) cups, plates, bowls, take-out containers, egg cartons and block packaging foam.

The FRC grant assisted with funding the purchase and installation of a foam densifier, used to compact foam products into foam blocks or ingots. Green Works will sell the foam ingots to end markets to be manufactured into thermal insulation panels for foundations, walls and roofs, as well as picture frames and crown molding.

Residents can take their polystyrene foam to receptacles located at Goodwill’s thrift stores and donation centers in Canton, Commerce Township, Dearborn, Livonia, Woodhaven and Ypsilanti. Thanks to a partnership with Dart Container and Recycle Here!, Detroit residents can recycle polystyrene foam at the Lincoln Street Recycle Here! drop-off location. The collected foam will be transported to Green Works’ 94,000 square foot facility in Detroit where it will be densified into foam ingots.

Green Works is also adding responsible appliance disposal (RAD) practices to repair, resell or reuse old appliances, reducing the amount of waste sent to landfills. The appliance program along with the polystyrene foam recycling will provide second-chance employment to individuals looking to redirect their lives in a more productive and meaningful way.

“Goodwill’s Green Works is dedicated to our mission of creating pathways to independence through personal development and the power of work, while making a positive impact on our community and the planet,” said Caleb Rutledge, president and CEO of Goodwill’s Green Works. “Adding PS foam recycling and appliance repair to our sustainability workflow will divert materials from landfills, reduce the disparate impact that pollution and climate change have on low-income and minority populations, and add 14 full-time jobs.”

“Goodwill’s Green Works is expanding recycling access to a large population of Southeast Michigan, and we are proud to be a part of that effort,” said Natha Dempsey, president of the Foodservice Packaging Institute. “Goodwill Green Works’ positive impact can be seen through environmental benefits, but also through efforts to improve local communities and help individuals looking for a second chance.”

The grant is made possible through contributions to FRC, which focuses exclusively on increased recycling of post-consumer foam polystyrene. Its members include Americas Styrenics; Chick-fil-A; CKF Inc.; Dart Container Corp.; Dyne-A-Pak; Genpak; INEOS Styrolution America LLC; Lifoam Industries, LLC; Pactiv Evergreen; and Republic Plastics.

Goodwill’s Green Works is the 34th grant recipient to receive FRC funding since 2015. Over 11 million additional residents in the U.S. and Canada can recycle foam polystyrene because of FRC grants.

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