The nationwide movement to take the pressure off our landfills just got another ally. Dart Container Corp. – a leader in the polystyrene foodservice product industry that I’ve been writing about since 2009.
Dart’s President Jim Lammers recently released a video aimed at New York’s Mayor Bill de Blasio, urging him to recycle, not landfill, the city’s styrofoam.
This past July, the de Blasio administration announced that stores, food service establishments and manufacturers couldn’t possess, sell or offer single-use styrofoam containers or cups — even “packing peanuts”. The reason given was purely environmental – Expanded Polystyrene Foam cannot be recycled.
“These products cause real environmental harm,” said de Blasio at the time. “By removing nearly 30,000 tons of expanded polystyrene waste from our landfills, streets and waterways (this) announcement is a major step towards our goal of a greener, greater New York City.”
But this statement stands on a false assumption.Dart has been recycling this material since the 1990’s at its drop-off centers. And in states like Illinois and Washington, enterprising entrepreneurs are already recycling polystyrene products.
It takes creative minds and innovative thinkers to find new ways to use materials that used to be considered trash. Clearly some in the de Blasio administration weren’t thinking outside the box, although perhaps their intentions were good. But the New York Supreme Court struck down NYC’s ban and now the City’s left with a conundrum.
Enter Lammer with a deal that just has to be too good to pass up.
He makes a solid case for his proposal to recycle polystyrene products: less going to the landfill, easing the burden on small businesses and more tax dollars going into the City coffers. Dart would:
- pay for sorting equipment to keep these products out of landfills
- generate a market for all the polystyrene that NYC generates
- fund a public service campaign on the benefits of polystyrene recycling
Clearly New York would gain a lot from taking Lammer up on this generous offer. And so would the environment!
Now the ball is in de Blasio’s court. The question now is: will he go for the green or fight for what’s easy and expedient (i.e. the old landfill option). Let’s hope green wins.