Packaging foam accepted at Morenci recycling center 2012.04.04

Written by David Green.

Visitors to Morenci’s recycling center might have noticed the large collection of packaging foam located along the north wall.

Although there was never any formal announcement, plastic packaging foam can be taken to the center—if it’s clean and free of debris.

Recycling center coordinator Laurie Schisler said she was once talking to Vance Jacobs, owner of Morenci’s Frontier Insulation, and the subject of foam came up.

“People are always asking what to do with it,” Schisler said, and unfortunately her answer was always to throw it away because no recycling was offered.

That changed when Jacobs offered to take foam.

“We really want white packaging or insulation foam,” Jacobs said. 

Foam is sliced an inch thick and ground into beads. After that it’s taken to a facility in Adrian and pressed into sheets of insulation that are used under concrete.

After Jacobs picked up a load recently from the center, he soon discovered a problem. Many pieces of foam have labels or tape on them

“The biggest problem is when labels and cellophane tape are left on,” he said. “It’s got to be clean. We cannot accept packaging foam with labels and tape.”

Labels often are easily removed, but it’s too time consuming for his small staff to tackle the project, so he’s only taking clean foam.

Foam from food use—egg cartons, beverage cups, take-out food containers—can only be brought to the recycling center if it’s clean. Otherwise, those items should be thrown away.

Packaging peanuts are also accepted and used by a local company for shipping parts. Peanuts should be contained in a bag and not mixed in with other foam.

Schisler isn’t present at the recycling center during all of the open hours and she hopes users will cooperate with the restrictions listed.

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