Food Waste Foam
IWS and our division MSS are able to deploy industrial food dehydrators to corporations, events and to film productions. We are able to deploy these nationwide to be managed by your team, or we can service them regularly within Metro Atlanta.
Why utilize food dehydrators? These take food waste and create a compostable material. Our trucks can take it straight to a compost plant to be used in future garden fertilizer.
Our food dehydrators also reduce the volume of food up to 90%. That makes it more economical to recycle your food waste. It reduces the number of trips to take it to recycle, thereby reducing the carbon feetprint. Doing what’s right for the environment might not cost more than hauling to the landfill. It’s a win-win.
How does it work? The food dehydrator uses heat and agitation to cook down the food waste into dehydrate, which takes ten to fifteen hours. Because the moisture is pulled out, what’s left typically does not rot as it is collected. Then, IWS takes it to the compost plant. There, they add carbon—grass clippings and the like—to take it into an anaerobic process. Then, the compost yard sells it off to be used for commercial gardening, and sold in bags as fertilizer to homeowners. Materials, like grass clippings, are added at the plant to promote the decomposition into compost. The resulting organically enriched material is sold off in bulk for use in commercial gardening or bagged for use by homeowners.
The film productions we serve use clean white polystyrene to build sets. IWS is able to melt down or densify foam for it to be recycled. We also keep larger usable pieces in our boneyard at our Pinewood Atlanta Studios location, for productions to repurpose.
Clean foam, including packing foam, is either sent through our hot melt or our cold press. Foam is so light that it would otherwise not be economical to transport it long distance, just for recycling. So the IWS process is intended to compress foam, to make it economical to ship and recycle. Compressed or melted foam is then pelletized and recycled to make molding for a home, picture frames and other applications.
For example, IWS did foam cup processing for one of our customers. A full 53 foot tractor-trailer load of loose foam cups had enormous volume. We took that tractor-trailer load of loose foam, rinsed it out and put it through our cold press. That entire truck would make one pallet of product, which is four by four by four foot tall. 48 of those pallets will now fit on one truck. It becomes far less expensive to transport to a recycling plant.
IWS has another manufacturing client who processes circuit boards and other components into larger pieces of equipment. Those electronics come with cardboard boxes, and spongy foam packing. IWS separates the boxes from the foam, and recycles both. It’s not unusual for IWS to get additional foam packing materials that are off-spec or damaged.
Because of the air in foam, it's not economically feasible to transport raw foam of any kind to a recycler. So IWS melts the foam into bricks—50 pounds per brick. Because they’re square and rectangular, they can be palletized, shrink-wrapped and you get twenty times as much on a trailer for transportation. It keeps foam out of a landfill, and reduces the cost for our clients.