In Nov. 2013 New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is likely to approve a city-wide ban on polystyrene cups and food trays, the world’s largest manufacturer of foam products has proposed an alternate solution.
If city trucks would collect plastic foam from residents, Dart Container would clean food waste from the foam, then buy it for $160 per ton, according to Crain’s New York Business. Dart would then truck the items to a recycling plant in Indiana.
Dart, which stands to lose a big chunk of business if New York City approves the ban, hopes to convince the City Council that the plan is not only an environmentally friendly solution, but an economically savvy choice. The city currently pays $2 million a year to put polystyrene in landfills. Dart’s purchase of the items to recycle would reportedly provide the city with a $4 million revenue stream.
Dart did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Historically, the difficulties associated with cleaning and transporting high-volume, low-weight items have hampered Styrofoam and other polystyrene item’s ability to be recycled. More than 2.5 million tons of polystyrene are dumped into landfills each year, according to Stanford Alumni Magazine.