EPS foam recycling - How to Recycle Expanded Polystyrene
What Is EPS, And Why Is It Smart to Recycle the Material?
It goes by many names: EPS, styrofoam, expanded polystyrene, airpop and when you consider the many qualities of EPS it is no wonder that this material is widely used.
EPS is light-weight, durable, shock-absorbing, moisture-resistant and insulating and is therefore particularly suitable for protection of various products during transport and storage of e.g. food and medical equipment.
EPS is not biodegradable, but pure EPS is 100% recyclable. However, because EPS consists of 98% air, it can be expensive to recycle because it is very space consuming to store, just as it is expensive to transport once it has served its purpose. Therefore, EPS recycling in many places is deemed too troublesome and hence fully recyclable expanded polystyrene unfortunately ends up in landfills or incinerators in many places.
With RUNI's screw compactor storing and transporting EPS with 98% air is no longer an issue. In RUNI's screw press, the EPS can be compacted in a ratio of 50:1. In addition to making storage and transport cheaper and easier, the blocks of compressed EPS can be sold for further recycling and the demand for recycled EPS is increasing. For every kilo of EPS that is recycled, the use of 3 litres of oil is saved. EPS recycling thus provides both an economic and environmental benefit.
3 Steps for EPS Foam Recycling with RUNI Compactor
Step 1: Collect the waste
Collect the waste: First, the EPS is collected separately and cleaned of other material. It can e.g. take place in shops where EPS is sorted from other packaging materials or at recycling sites where the EPS is sorted from other types of waste etc. To ensure the highest possible price for the compacted EPS, it is important that EPS with concrete or dirt on it must be sorted out.
The pure EPS is then collected and shipped to the RUNI compactor. It is most optimal if the compaction takes place near the collection, as large amounts of air will otherwise be transported.
Step 2: Compaction in the RUNI screw press
The RUNI is then fed manually, via a conveyor belt or from a silo. When the EPS enters the hopper on the RUNI, it is crushed into smaller pieces by the pre-crusher. These chunks of expanded polystyrene then fall into the screw. Subsequently, the screw and the hydraulic jaws ensure that the EPS is compressed into blocks that are easy to handle, stack and transport. The RUNI does not add heat to the process, it is only the friction in the EPS itself that creates heat to ensure cohesive blocks. As a result, the RUNI also uses less energy than other devises for compacting EPS.
Step 3: Pack and ship the compacted EPS for further recycling
The compacted EPS exits the RUNI in blocks that measure from 120x120 mm up to 370x370 mm, depending on the size of the machine. To ease the handling of the bigger blocks, RUNI offers a block divider that cuts the blocks in lengths that fits a standard pallet and a crane for lifting the blocks. The blocks can also be cut up manually.The compacted blocks can be sold to an extrusion plant, where the blocks are granulated and remelted. After the EPS is remelted, it becomes a new polystyrene granulate, which can either be used as polystyrene or made into new recycled EPS (expanded polystyrene)
Find the Right Compactor for Your EPS Foam Recycling
Which compactor is the optimal solution for your EPS recycling depends on your EPS quantity, how and in what flow you want to feed the machine.
RUNI offers EPS compactors in 4 basic sizes:
SK120: This model is available in both a manual and an automatic version. Both of them have a capacity of 18 kg / day and they are therefore well suited for places that handle up to 10 tons of EPS annually, e.g. retail and small industrial enterprises. This model is typically fed manually. Read more here.
SK200: This model is also available in both a manual and automatic version. They both have a capacity of 45 kg / day and are therefore recommended for places that handle between 10 and 30 tons per year. In addition, this model is also available in a TWIN version that has a capacity of 90 kg / day. This model is recommended for an annual quantity of up to 50 tons per year. These models are typically fed manually. Read more about SK200 here and SK200Twin here.
SK240: Capacity of 75 kg / day. This model can be fed either manually in a 45-degree hopper or with a conveyor belt in a vertical hopper. This model is recommended for places that handle between 30 and 50 tons per year. Read more about SK240 here.
SK370: Capacity of 200 kg / day. This model can be fed either manually in a 45 degree hopper or with a conveyor belt in a vertical hopper. This model is recommended for locations that handle over 50 tons per year. Read more about SK370 here.
If you need a larger compaction capacity, we also offer larger systems where several compactors are combined with an independent shredder and a silo for storing the granulated EPS before it goes into the compactors themselves. Read more about our silo solutions here.
Want to Recycle Other Waste Types? Find More Recycling Guides Here
Do you have other types of waste, that you would like to recycle? Take a look at our other recycling guides:
Besides our machines for compacting we also offer solutions for dewatering of various packagings:
· Alu cans
If you need any further information, or do you have any questions about the RUNI machines, please fill out the form below. We will contact you as soon as possible.
Jasar Recycling – PET Deliquifying
Jasar Recycling installed a new Runi SK-370 Deliquifying Compactor for their East Palestine, OH location. “We are very happy with the RUNI SK370 PET Deliquifying system. Right now, we are running the machine in two shifts and the machine is keeping up with all of our plastic material. The nicest feature about the RUNI is that there is barely any maintenance on the system. The RUNI SK 370...
Nen-Products - Beverage Cartons
Separation Leads to Savings on Waste Charges Separation and dewatering in connection with destruction of Tetra Pak cartons turned the waste dry enough for recycling. NEN-PRODUKTER AS in Norway produces juice and smoothies sold in various forms of Tetra Pak cartons. “We have to take care of thousands of units every day due to normal and unforeseen production waste. A major part of this ...
Premier Patterns - EPS
Investment Paid Back Within 12 Months The SK120 meant great savings for small British industrial company. Even with RUNI's smallest screw compactor, waste is turned to value. At the same time, the company got rid of the mess of uncompacted EPS and dust. PREMIER PATTERNS AND CASTINGS LIMITED in the UK produces EPS patterns and moulds in all sizes, especially for the automotive, boat and aerosp...
Skjern Papir - Reject
Dewatered Waste Is Disposed at Lower Cost By compacting and dewatering reject, a paper recycling company avoid having to transport water for no useful purpose. SKJERN PAPIR A/S in Denmark produces 54,000 tons of liner and cardboard from recycled paper annually. In the initial sorting, the paper material is separated out from large, insoluble materials such as plastic, staples and other unwant...
Folldal Recycling - PE film
Environmentally Friendly and Energy-Saving Drying of PE Film Folldal Gjenvinning saves between 100 and 150 kW / h per production line by pre-drying washed plastic film in a RUNI Screw Compactor. Folldal Gjenvinning, a division of Norfolier Norge AS, is one of Scandinavia’s largest recyclers of plastic film. With its latest production expansion, the division’s annual capacity ...
Dan-Web - Dust
Well Suited for Dust and Waste Products from Airlaid Production Less dust, easier handling and reduced transport costs. The RUNI Screw Compactor represents a great advance in airlaid production waste management. Dan-Web in Aarhus produces machinery and equipment for the manufacture of airlaid products such as nappies, sanitary towels, bed sheets and meat pads – primarily as turn-key pro...
Carlsberg Breweries, Denmark
Dewatering Various Cans and Bottles with RUNI Screw Compactor Besides beer cans, Carlsberg Breweries in Denmark also produce Coca-Cola® in aluminum cans and PET-bottles. Carlsberg effective quality control daily sorts out substantial quantities, that needs to be destroyed. In more than 15 years Carlsberg has used a RUNI SK370 for emptying and compacting of PET-bottles. A few years ago the...
Rexcell, Sweden - Airlaid
Compacting Airlaid Dust with Screw Compactor The Swedish company Rexcell produces tissue and airlaid. They are among the leaders within this business with a high level of technology in their production. The RUNI SK370 was installed under their extraction system to compact the dust before it goes into the waste container. The advantage with a RUNI screw compactor is the continuous operation wi...
Systec, Germany - Plastic Film Recycling
Drying PE-Film with RUNI Screw Compactor One of the largest manufacturers of plastic granules from post-consumer waste in Europe, Systec Plastics Eisfeld GmbH in Germany, chose in 2017 to replace their existing installation of screw compactors with 6 new RUNI screw compactors type SK370, into their washing line for PE film, as part of the drying process of the crushed and washed plastic flakes...
Norlax - EPS Fish Boxes
Environment Friendly EPS Handling Turns Waste to Value Norlax earned a return on its investment in a RUNI SK370 and its housing within 2 years. On a good day, up to 1,000 boxes of salmon are fed into production at NORLAX A/S, Denmark. The huge quantity of EPS boxes used to fill 4 truckloads per day, which commuted constantly between the company’s premises and a waste handling company 30...
Vega Salmon - EPS Fish Boxes
Compacting Fish Boxes of EPS (Airpop) with Screw Compactor In 2011 VEGA Salmon built new production facilities in Northern Germany very close to the German –Danish border for processing salmon. The production level is characterized by high flow which requires a high capacity compaction unit. The traditional way of solving high capacity demands is to have a stand alone pre-crusher and a ...
North Landing - EPS Fish Boxes
The RUNI Screw Compactor Has Been Great North Landing, LLC of Clifton, NJ installed a new RUNI SK370 EPS compactor for densifying fish boxes into recycleable logs. “The Runi compactor has been great. It has allowed us to keep our receiving docks clear and clean at all times. In the fish business…a machine like this is a must. Mike, if you ever have anyone who wants to see it fee...
Morpol, Poland - Processor of Fresh Salmon
Compacting Used EPS Fish Boxes with Screw Compactor Morpol in Poland, for many years the world’s largest processor of fresh salmon and today part of the Marine Harvest group. Every day Morpol receives thousands of EPS boxes with fresh salmon and chilling ice. The boxes are only being used once and Morpol therefore uses the RUNI SK370 for effective handling of the empty wet boxes contamin...
Cap Fraicheur, France - EPS
Solution for EPS-handling with Screw Compactor Cap Fraicheur, a French retail chain with a large sale of fish was looking for a solution to compact their many used EPS fish boxes. Normally they have around 60 kg (130 lbs) per day. Most of the stores are located in city centers, and the available space is very limited. Besides the lack of storage, the odor from the used fish boxes was causing ...
Rooms To Go - EPS Packaging
Waste Management Creates Profit Large US furniture chain turns over USD 3 million through recycling of packaging In 2007, the US furniture chain Rooms To Go turned over USD 1.75 billion worth of furniture – products packaged using vast amounts of cardboard, wood, plastic and EPS. But already in 1991 the chain introduced a recycling programme that has transformed waste into a profitable ...
Chantry Digital - EPS Electronics
Storage Handling Would Be Difficult Without the RUNI SK120 RUNI SK120 has meant tremendous savings for a British retailer, in terms of both space and money. CHANTRY DIGITAL is a British retailer within consumer electronics and hard electrical appliances. The company covers four counties with seven outlets, and has a large nationwide commercial division. At its head office in Trowbridge, Chan...
Veglo - Metal Cans
Separating Paint Leftovers from Buckets By separating paint from the buckets and compact the packaging, the waste handling company saves money on both transport and disposal VEGLO MILJØSERVICE AS collects and processes hazardous waste from companies over a wide geographic area in central Norway, including cans and buckets of paint leftovers, around 300 tons p.a. which have to be emptie...
Silkeborg Recycling Station
Optimises Recycling of EPS (Airpop) with Reason Approx. 30 tons annually or equivalent to more than 60 truckloads of EPS are collected today instead of going into the container with other combustible materials. The EPS has previously been a large part of the combustible fraction, but is now compacted on site and sold for recycling with reduced transport costs. The 30 tons of compacted EPS blo...
Haith Recycling, Great Britain - Biogas Industry
Optimize Biogas Production with Screw Compactor Food waste is very suitable for anaerobic digestion plants. By separating as much of the organic liquid from the packaging the more feed stock is created for the plant and the weight of the packaging is reduced. The packaging normally goes to landfill. Haith Recycling searched the market before they decided for a RUNI screw compactor. They...
Tarm Recycle Station - EPS
Compacting of EPS/airpop for recycling Tarm recycle station compact the gathered EPS, also known as airpop, in the recycle station with a RUNI SK200Twin and sells the compacted EPS blocks for recycling.Earlier the EPS was part of combustibles assorted, but now has to be separated. It has been quite a change for the citizens having to sort it and place it in a different place in the recycle sta...
Vartdal Plast – takes the lead role in Norway From fish box producer to waste collector and LOOP ambassador Vartdal Plast is one of the biggest EPS converters in Norway and even in the Nordic region. The company was founded in 1962 and was, actually, the first company to produce fish boxes from EPS (Expandable Polystyrene). Keeping food fresh and houses warm is the very foundation of V...
Eco Development - EPS
RECYCLING THE LOCAL EPS WASTE Eco Development is an industry leader when it comes to recycling EPS in the US.Through their commercial and industrial recycling accounts, they handle waste from a variety of businesses, helping them reduce their waste expenses by up to 50 %. They provide their partners with an Environmental Impact Report that shows how much material has been recycled and what t...