Churches Caring for Creation (CC4C), a mission-based environmental organization in Norman, Oklahoma, received a $23,000 grant from the Foodservice Packaging Institute’s Foam Recycling Coalition (FRC) to add a foam densifier to its current operations and expand its reach in providing recycling collection events across the region.
“Churches Caring for Creation is providing the necessary services to recycle clean and empty foam packaging that is generated by residents in Norman,” said Natha Dempsey, president of the Foodservice Packaging Institute, which oversees FRC. “CC4C sets an excellent example of how one organization can provide an innovative solution to expand recycling operations to its residents as foam polystyrene recycling continues to increase across North America.”
To close gaps in collection for specific recyclable materials, CC4C used the grant funding to develop a new “Styro-Station” drop off program that brings foam recycling options to area residents. Currently serving nearly 50,000 households and operated solely by volunteers, two “Styro-Stations” are located at local churches in Norman and are open to the public for dropping off foam recycling. Materials accepted at the drop-off locations include foam cups, plates, clamshell take-out containers, meat trays, egg cartons, as well as coolers.
FRC funding allows CC4C to purchase and install a high-capacity densifier unit to better manage its drop-off foam collection material. With this new equipment, CC4C can expand its operations from two drop offs to providing collection events for an additional five neighboring towns, providing access to foam recycling to approximately 90,000 more households.
Since 2019, CC4C’s recycling program has continued to gain momentum and build success. “Our success of recycling foam has not gone unnoticed, and we’re now in cooperation with the City of Norman to assist in storing the densifier and material at the local Hazardous Household Waste Collection Facility. It’s exciting to see how successful this program has gotten, and this newfound cooperation is a notable sign of that,” said Cathryn Bowden, coordinator for Churches Caring for Creation.
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; Cascades Canada ULC; CKF Inc.; Chick-fil-A; Dart Container Corp.; Dyne-A-Pak; Genpak; Hawaii’s Finest Products; INEOS Styrolution America LLC; NOVA Chemicals Corp.; Pactiv Foodservice/Food Packaging; Republic Plastics; and TOTAL Petrochemicals & Refining USA.