The Ray Lovato Recycling Center, a non-profit environmental organization in Rock Springs, Wyoming, received a $29,000 grant from the Foodservice Packaging Institute’s Foam Recycling Coalition to add a foam densifier to its current recycling center that recovers recyclable materials from residents and businesses within the area. The recycling center, within the economic center of Southwest Wyoming, serves about 13,000 households and diverted nearly 1.72 million pounds of waste from the landfill in 2020. The non-profit organization not only has a goal of maximizing diversion of solid waste from its local landfill through unique recycling programs, but it has also made a mission to provide second chance employment to community individuals struggling with developmental disabilities, drug and alcohol addition, as well as veterans with PTSD. At its facility of over 6,000 square feet, materials accepted include corrugated cardboard, office paper, paperboard, newspaper, magazines, books, aluminum, tin and plastics.

This FRC funding allows the recycling center to purchase and install a foam densifier unit to begin processing foam products that will be collected at its drop off center from local businesses and residents. The densifier will allow the organization to collect many types of foam products including foam foodservice packaging and protective packaging. “Our area is home to immense mineral resources employing a large portion of our private workforce. However, with not much large retailers in the area, our center has seen a significant amount of ecommerce packaging. The packaging along with food-grade foam products will provides our center a large diversion opportunity with the help of this new densifier,” said Devon Brubaker, board president of the Ray Lovato Recycling Center.

“The Ray Lovato Recycling Center is providing the necessary services to recycle clean and empty foam packaging that is generated by local businesses and residents,” said Natha Dempsey, president of the Foodservice Packaging Institute, which oversees FRC. “The center demonstrates how an organization can set an example with its own mission and continue to expand its operations after having success and seeing an opportunity to increase diversion from the landfill.”

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. Ray Lovato Recycling Center is the 21st grant recipient to receive FRC funding since 2015. Over 4 million additional residents in the U.S. and Canada can recycle foam as a result of FRC grants.

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