Adrien Goffinet feeds styrofoam into the densifier. Photo by Gerry Leibel

Feed the Styrofoam densifier!

Kitimat considers banning Styrofoam from the dump

Kitimat Understanding The Environment recycling depot has a new machine which has a voracious appetite for Styrofoam.

The styrofoam densifier, installed at KUTE’s premises, cost around $20,000 and has already been chewing its way through stacks of styrofoam.

The machine is so efficient, it can consume enough expanded styrofoam to fill a 40-foot seacan and reduce it to two 1000-pound bricks that fit onto two pallets, reducing its volume between 20 and 40 times.

KUTE’s Peter King said the bricks are either used in construction if the styrofoam isn’t clean enough, or it’s sent off to styrofoam manufacturers who expand the condensed styrofoam back to its original density.

The machine consists of two augers, the first one breaking the styrofoam up and the second auger compressing it into bricks.

“As far as I know, this is the only densifier in the north. Kitimat can be proud of the fact that we have always lead the way with recycling,” said King.

At a recent District council meeting, King delivered a presentation to council, laying out the benefits of the densifier, especially with regards to saving space in the town’s dump normally taken up with styrofoam.

His presentation lead to a motion being passed by council to consider introducing a bylaw banning styrofoam in the dump, similar to the ban on cardboard which is currently in place.

“A ban would divert styrofoam away from the dump to KUTE,” said King, who encouraged Kitimat’s residents to bring their styrofoam to KUTE.

He has also communicated with furniture suppliers from Terrace to encourage them to drop their packing material off at the depot.