Clark County receives $30K grant for styrofoam break-down machine

The Clark County Recycling Center has used a grant from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency to install a new machine that breaks down styrofoam.

The foam densifying machine was purchased for $40,000. with $30,000 being paid for through the grant from the Ohio EPA. The county paid the remaining $10,000.

The machine works by grinding up styrofoam using “teeth-like” gears, Recycling Facility Manager John Haughey said.

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“It grinds them up into much smaller, tiny pieces,” Haughey said.

Then the pieces get heated up and pushed out of the button of the machine through a tube.

“It comes out a very condensed, reusable, recyclable material that we can resell that you can put use building picture frames, crown molding and other materials,” Haughey said.

Clark County Public Information Officer Michael Cooper said the machine can accept packaging from TVs, appliances, computers and furniture. The machine cannot accept packing peanuts, food packaging or anything with color polystyrene.

“We’re really hoping residents will recycle packaging foam, especially around the upcoming holiday,” Cooper said. “We are only the second solid waste district in the state that has this machine so we thought it would be a great service to offer our residents.”

The Clark County Solid Waste District relocated its recycling station in early June. The $150,000 move more than doubled the previous space that was used for regular and specialty recycling.

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The specialty recycling facility is used for anything that can’t go into the bins — like tires, paint cans, herbicides, pesticides and electronics.

The facility offers a drive-through for customers every Thursday from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. and the first Sunday of every month from 9 a.m. until noon.

Regular recycling bins are open for drop off 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Those interested in recycling their products can do so by dropping them off at the Clark County Recycling Center, located at 1620 W. Main St. The center will have a bin outside for styrofoam products beginning on Sunday, Dec. 1.

Cooper said the county is also seeking to partner with businesses that may receive or use a lot of styrofoam packaging.

“Hopefully we can start up a program with them and take their recycling,” Cooper said. “Otherwise, it’s going in the landfill.”

Businesses interested in partnering with the recycling center can call 937-521-2025.

$40,000: Cost of the foam densifying machine

$30,000: Of the machine paid for by a grant from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency

1: Only one other county in the state has a foam densifying machine

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