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Base recycling center to offer recycling for Styrofoam after the holidays

By David DeKunder | Wingspread staff writer | Dec. 27, 2007

RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas — After the Christmas holidays Team Randolph members will have another way to help the environment. 

From Dec. 26 to Jan. 4 the Randolph Recycling Center will accept Styrofoam and corrugated cardboard at its 24-hour, seven days a week drop-off site on the east side of the base near the stables and in the parking lot behind the Airman and Family Readiness Center. Both sites will have separate bins for corrugated cardboard and Styrofoam. 

Conrad Dziewulski, base recycling program manager, said because of base- member demand, the recycling center is now accepting corrugated cardboard and Styrofoam. 

"In years past we have had requests from base organizations and offices as to whether we were recycling Styrofoam," he said. "We could not find a recycler to handle this material until recently. We are trying to make it convenient for people to recycle these common materials." 

The Styrofoam that is collected on base will be sent to Amazon Grid-Wall, a San Antonio company that will recycle the Styrofoam for construction material. 

Mr. Dziewulski said the recycling center will accept Expanded PolyStyrene, or EPS, Styrofoam, which is used for packaging material for products such as computers, electronic equipment, household appliances, metal roofing insulation and frozen seafood containers, and is used to make ice coolers. EPS Styrofoam has a mosaic pattern and granulated interior, which makes its easier to break into small "pellets." 

The recycling center will not accept the "peanuts" loose packaging Styrofoam material. Mr. Dziewulski said people should call the recycling center at 652-4668 or 652-5606 to make arrangements if they are bringing any bondable, unbreakable Styrofoam.
During the holidays Mr. Dziewulski said people should recycle their Styrofoam instead of putting it in the trash where it could end up in the landfill. 

"Styrofoam is a bulky, lightweight material that does not break down in the environment," he said. "By recycling Styrofoam you keep it out of the dumpsters and you save landfill space." 

Claudette Sumrall, Amazon Grid-Wall chief executive officer, said her company recycles thousands of cubic feet of Styrofoam each year. 

"We recycle up to 500,000 cubic feet of Styrofoam each year, which we keep from going into the landfill," she said. 

With the recycled Styrofoam the company manufactures a building material known as insulated concrete form, or ICF. ICF is made from 100 percent recycled Styrofoam and cement and is shaped into a post-and-beam grid that makes it strong, durable, fire resistant, termite resistant and energy efficient. 

"The Amazon Grid-Wall saves energy," Ms. Sumrall said. "It can take up to 50 to 70 percent off utility bills, and it can withstand winds of up to 200 miles per hour." 

Any base organizations and offices that have Styrofoam packaging material or corrugated cardboard they need to get rid of should contact the recycling center at 652-4668 or 652-5606. 

"We are encouraging base offices and people who order equipment purchases, especially electronic purchases, to contact the recycling office and talk to us about bringing a trailer to them," Mr. Dziewulski said. 

For more information about the Randolph Recycling Program call 652-4668 or 652-5606.