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In today’s post, we explore exactly what to do with waste polystyrene, guiding you through green, cost-effective, and timely disposal methods. Additionally, we’ll discuss how disposing of polystyrene can be transformed into an opportunity to generate an additional revenue stream for your business. 


What Is Polystyrene?

Polystyrene is a highly adaptable plastic that’s expanded into a foam-like material, making it a preferred option among manufacturing companies for its excellent cushioning and insulating properties. What’s remarkable about polystyrene is that despite its solid appearance, it consists of up to 98% air, contributing to its lightweight yet protective characteristics.


Who Uses Polystyrene?

Chances are, if you’re reading this blog, you’re already familiar with polystyrene in your daily operations. 

Widely used across various industries, polystyrene is the go-to material for insulating products and ensuring the safety of appliances during transportation. Past its protective uses, it’s utilised by food merchants for packaging and warehouse distribution centres for its lightweight yet durable characteristics.

For some businesses, polystyrene waste might be a minor concern. However, others may find themselves dealing with substantial volumes, potentially requiring disposal daily. If your operation accumulates more than one skip of loose polystyrene weekly, investing in an EPS compactor could streamline your disposal process whilst turning your polystyrene waste into a profitable recycling opportunity.


Is Polystyrene Difficult To Dispose Of?

Despite being a material that is, literally, everywhere in the business world, disposing of polystyrene comes with its own set of challenges. 

Let’s discuss why disposing of polystyrene can become complicated:

  • Polystyrene is Bulky: Despite being lightweight, its mostly air composition makes it take up a lot of space, complicating disposal efforts.
  • Limited Recycling Options: Not every recycling centre can handle EPS polystyrene, narrowing the avenues for responsible disposal.
  • Long-lasting Waste: Polystyrene doesn’t easily break down, meaning it can linger in landfills for a long time, posing environmental concerns.
  • Disposal Costs: Its bulky nature can also inflate disposal costs, as it occupies more space in waste collection and management systems.

Acknowledging and understanding these challenges is the first step towards finding solutions for managing polystyrene waste.


What to Do With Waste Polystyrene?

Tackling the issue of what to do with waste polystyrene is critical for businesses searching for an efficient disposal method. A practical solution? Implementing a polystyrene compactor. 

Polystyrene compactors offer a triple benefit: they save space, protect the environment, and can even turn waste into cash. By compacting waste polystyrene into manageable bales or blocks, businesses can sell these compacted materials to recycling companies. Rates for compacted polystyrene vary between £300-£600 per tonne, depending on quantity. 


How Compactors Work to Dispose of Polystyrene

Polystyrene compactors compress loose, space-consuming polystyrene into dense blocks, significantly reducing its volume – simplifying the handling and transportation of waste whilst turning it into a recyclable asset. The compacted polystyrene is then ready for recycling, contributing to a circular economy and reducing environmental impact.

Here’s how polystyrene compactors achieve this:

Feeding the Material: Load the loose polystyrene into the compactor.

Compression: A hydraulic press compresses the polystyrene, squeezing out air and reducing its volume.

Formation of Blocks: The compression shapes waste polystyrene into dense, manageable blocks.

Preparation for Recycling: These compact blocks are simple to store and transport, ready for recycling or selling.


Dispose of Polystyrene Waste with Greenbank

So, your company has vast amounts of polystyrene to dispose of. Let’s go through Greenbank’s EPS’s Compactors.

SC1200: A low-maintenance option that can handle wet and dry polystyrene. The Sc1000 is easy to operate and has an average 40:1 compaction ratio.

SC2200: This option can compact large amounts of material, handling up to 90kg of EPS per hour (density depending). The SC2000 is low maintenance and easy on space with easy-to-touch screen controls.

SC3000: The largest of the three mentioned models, the SC3000 will handle up to 250kg of EPS per hour. Easy to use, this machine works quickly and effectively.

If polystyrene contributes to large volumes of your waste, an EPS compactor is the best option. Their low maintenance features mean the job of loading is not a difficult task and can be completed quickly and effectively. The result offers a sellable bale. 


How Much Can I Sell a Polystyrene Bale For?

Compacted polystyrene can be quite profitable, with average prices ranging between £300 to £600 per tonne. This range indicates the potential for significant revenue, especially for businesses generating large volumes of polystyrene waste. Evaluating the weight of your polystyrene bales can help determine the viability and financial benefits of compacting as a waste management strategy.

Are you interested in exploring polystyrene compactors further? Our team of experts possesses extensive industry knowledge and is eager to assist businesses in navigating their recycling options and unlocking new revenue opportunities. 

Contact Greenbank to learn how compacting polystyrene waste can contribute to your company’s sustainability goals and bottom line.


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