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Styrofoam (EPS) is 2-5% petroleum based styrene and 95-98% air. Recycling this bulky product now makes sense for home furnishings retailers.

The April 2006 issue of FURNITURE WORLD Magazine provided a comprehensive overview of recycling and trash disposal. This article, posted to the Operations Article Archives on included information on recycling Styrofoam (EPS) used to provide damage protection for merchandise from offshore and domestic manufacturing locations.

While EPS is great for this function, its disposal characteristics are of increasing concern to furniture retailers for cost and environmental reasons. Styrofoam or EPS is a composite of 2-5% petroleum based polystyrene and 95-98% air. This material doesn't compress in compactors

Warehouse Management by Dan Bolger and a thousand pounds of it can fill a 53 ft. trailer, making disposal very expensive.

Recycling EPS now makes sense for furniture retailers. There are a number of processing alternatives that can change its disposal from a big expense to one that can actually generate a payback. This article will provide highlights of several successful approaches. One will surely be viable for your company.


Linder's Furniture, the 2007 Western Home Furnishings Association Retailer of the Year, operates ten locations in Southern California. Operations Director Mark Kantor provided insight into a comprehensive program at Linder's that resulted in the recycling of approximately 95% of all traditional waste products including office paper, corrugated, plastic film and EPS. Only garbage goes in the trash now.

Their on-site installation of Runi equipment provided by Olympic Wire & Equipment resulted in a payback in less than one year. It also resulted in favorable publicity in the local papers and positive employee attitudes regarding their roles in making the environment better.

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Going Green For More Cash

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