How the Sausage is Made…

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So – we get asked all the time, “What actually happens to all of the waste styrofoam you guys collect?”

Well, if a picture is worth 1000 words, then this video has more letters than a complete set of Harry Potter books. Enjoy this behind the scenes look at what happens after you drop off your EPS foam in a Waste to Waves bin at your favorite local surf shop. The foam is “densified” and shipped off to be remanufactured into surfboard blanks and other products.

The EPS foam densifier greatly expands the foam collection capacity of Waste to Waves. Acquisition of this densifier was supported by a generous donation from the Nell Newman Foundation, and a generous equipment loan from Avangard Innovative, a leading manufacturer of EPS densifiers. This machine has been installed at Marko Foam in Irvine, CA.

EPS foam is 90% air. A densifier essentially removes the air and leaves behind hard bricks of condensed plastic. It is much easier to store and ship these bricks on pallets, which eliminates two of the major barriers of EPS foam recycling programs.

When we get 40,000 lbs of densified foam, it will be shipped to a producer of re-manufactured Polystyrene beads. These new beads can then be blown into new “recycled” surfboard blanks by Marko Foam. Simple as that – the complete life-cycle of Waste to Waves!

To give you an idea of the power of this densifier.  A full semi-truck of foam can be compressed into a single pallet of densified polystyrene. See the photos below.