The City of Hilliard and the Environmental Sustainability Commission will be upping their Styrofoam recycling game thanks to a $60,000 Ohio Environmental Protection Agency “Recycle Ohio” grant.
The grant will allow the City to buy improved Styrofoam densifying and recycling equipment that can process greater amounts of Styrofoam. This will increase diversion of material away from the landfill from the current 6,000 pounds to up to 10,000 pounds per year.
The City bought its current densifier in 2021 with assistance from a grant from SWACO. It is only able to densify certain kinds of expanded polystyrene, such as lightweight foam used as packing materials. This leaves a significant amount of material (including the smaller, less durable forms of polystyrene like packing peanuts), that must be rejected by the City from collection events and on-site drop-offs.
The new densifier can process a wider range of materials, which can be repurposed locally and out-of-state for things such as insulation, framing, 3D printing, and reuse as EPS.
In addition, the collected materials will be densified more quickly, and the increased market will allow the City to decrease the time and space needed to store the densified product.
The $60,048 grant was part of more than $1.3 million in recycling grants given to local governments, businesses, and nonprofit organizations throughout central Ohio this year.