Dart Container Corporation Statement Regarding Renewed New York EPS Threat
In the words of a great New Yorker Yogi Berra, “it’s déjà vu all over again,” as the New York Department of
Sanitation (DSNY) has again issued a baffling declaration determining that Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) foam
cannot be recycled.
This disappointing determination is in direct conflict with both fact and a 2015 NY Supreme Court ruling
striking down a NYC foam foodservice ban. Judge Margaret Chan wrote in her ruling that “the one undisputed
short answer to whether EPS is recyclable is yes: single serve EPS is recyclable.”
The determination is also at odds with City Council Intro-1480, a progressive bill that aims to include EPS in the
residential recycling program. The program has many benefits:
Intro-1480 covers virtually 100% of polystyrene in NYC’s residential recycling stream whereas the
Mayor’s partial ban only covers a little more than 20% of NYC’s polystyrene and sends the remaining
80% to landfill.
Recycling EPS will save NYC millions in landfill costs.
Recycling will generate millions in revenue.
And, industry will pay the infrastructure costs to implement this program.
Michael Westerfield, Corporate Director of Recycling Programs for Dart Container Corporation, said, “Today’s
determination by DSNY isn’t just inconsistent with Judge Chan’s ruling. It’s wrong for struggling small
businesses, restaurants and taxpayers – and it will actually make it harder for the City to meet Mayor de Blasio’s
OneNYC goal of Zero Waste by 2030.”
The market and capacity for recycled EPS have grown since the 2015 Supreme Court ruling. Plastics Recycling
Inc., (PRI), one of the largest recyclers of polystyrene and other materials, remains ready to purchase, clean, and
recycle all NYC-recovered polystyrene.
Concluded Westerfeld, “We were joined by small businesses from throughout the five boroughs today to
express our strong support for Intro #1480, which would designate EPS foodservice foam as
recyclable. Passage of this progressive legislation will enable NYC to become the largest city in the world to
provide a comprehensive recycling program for expanded polystyrene and #6 rigid plastics.”
Facts on Foam Recycling
PRI has been in business for more than 25 years, and today PRI’s expanded polystyrene recycling facility
is fully operational and working to turn recovered polystyrene into new and marketable products.
PRI will buy all of New York City’s post-consumer foam and process it to meet industry specifications.
PRI’s customers stand ready to purchase all PRI-processed material.
Recycling polystyrene will cost less in terms of environmental impact than throwing it away or banning