Appliance and cardboard recycling have been a part of our mission for many, many years – but we wanted to do more. “We’re moving beyond recycling pop cans. Whatever we generate that we can recycle, we’re doing,” says Warners’ Stellian President Robert Warner.
- wood (many appliances still come with wooden pallets)
- plastic shrink wrap (a local nonprofit hauls it to sell for reuse. Win-win!)
- plastic/metal banding (miles of it, seriously)
And now we even recycle polystyrene, otherwise known as Styrofoam. Our densifier grinds up the bulk Styrofoam from appliance packaging and converts it into a form that can be reused as another product, while reducing it by a 20:1 ratio. Waste Management used to haul off our 40-yard waste roll-off container about every four days. Now, we’re down to about once per month!
The process is EXTREMELY labor intensive. The Styrofoam must be completely clean for the densifier to work properly. This means no tape, no staples and no cardboard pieces.
“It’s very labor intensive to sort, and it’s not a profitable endeavor – especially at this point – for us,” Robert Warner says. “But the motivating factor is doing the right thing.”