Canadian Plastics

Niagara Region unveils new technology at recycling centre

Polystyrene foam densifier was delivered with funding through a partnership between Niagara Region, the Waste Diversion Ontario Continuous Improvement Fund and the Canadian Plastics Industry Association.

October 29, 2016   Canadian Plastics

With funding through a partnership between Niagara Region, the Waste Diversion Ontario Continuous Improvement Fund and the Canadian Plastics Industry Association, a new polystyrene foam densifier has been installed in the Niagara Region that will divert waste from landfills and produce high quality end products out of recyclable material.

The polystyrene foam densifier compresses large volumes of polystyrene foam, collected both curbside in the Blue Box and at regional drop-off depots, into highly dense, stackable blocks which can be turned into new products such as picture frames, decorative moldings, and office supplies.

The system’s fibre optical sorting system uses near infrared technology to efficiently detect and separate different types of recyclable materials, including newsprint, cardboard, and plastic.  The result is improved quality of newsprint resulting in higher revenues and greater recovery of cardboard and boxboard also resulting in higher revenues. Additional revenues are used to offset the costs of delivering waste management programs to Niagara residents and businesses.

“The new densifier technology enables a significant reduction in the number of truckloads used to transport the densified foam material for recycling – for every densified load, 35 to 40 trucks of loose un-densified foam is taken off the road,” CPIA said in a statement.

Niagara Region is the first municipality in Ontario to install this technology in a municipally-owned recycling facility.

“This initiative is an example of the CPIA’s ongoing commitment to work with partners, such as Niagara Region, the Continuous Improvement Fund, communities, recyclers and other industries, to expand the efficient recycling of plastics resources,” said CPIA president and CEO Carol Hochu. “By densifying the polystyrene and reducing the number of trucks on the road, we are reducing transportation greenhouse gas emissions by up to 85 per cent. This results in a doubling of environmental outcomes – both from the recycling efforts as well as the emissions reductions.”


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