Posted 09 May 2013 - 10:35 AM
Posted 09 May 2013 - 11:07 AM
Good idea. No really good reason waste kit styrene can't be recycled indefinitely, other than nobody's yet tried to make a case for finding any profit in it.
In general, polystyrene is not accepted in curbside collection recycling programs, and is not separated and recycled where it is accepted. In Germany, polystyrene is collected, as a consequence of the packaging law (Verpackungsverordnung) that requires manufacturers to take responsibility for recycling or disposing of any packaging material they sell.
Most polystyrene products are currently not recycled due to the lack of incentive to invest in the compactors and logistical systems required. Due to the low density of polystyrene foam, it is not economical to collect. However, if the waste material goes through an initial compaction process, the material changes density from typically 30 kg/m3 to 330 kg/m3 and becomes a recyclable commodity of high value for producers of recycled plastic pellets. Expanded polystyrene scrap can be easily added to products such as EPS insulation sheets and other EPS materials for construction applications; many manufacturers cannot obtain sufficient scrap because of collection issues. When it is not used to make more EPS, foam scrap can be turned into clothes hangers, park benches, flower pots, toys, rulers, stapler bodies, seedling containers, picture frames, and architectural molding from recycled PS.
Recycled EPS is also used in many metal casting operations. Rastra is made from EPS that is combined with cement to be used as an insulating amendment in the making of concrete foundations and walls. American manufacturers have produced insulating concrete forms made with approximately 80% recycled EPS since 1993.
Posted 09 May 2013 - 11:14 AM
I don't think all the leftover styrene trees from all the models sold would even be a drop in the ocean compared to the volume of other "waste" that gets recycled, like paper, glass, metal, etc. There's just not enough styrene waste out there to make recycling it profitable. And let's face it... recycling is about profit more than anything else.
Posted 09 May 2013 - 11:21 AM
Rather than just throwing the stuff away, a case could possibly be made for centralized, maybe hobby-shop barrels, collection of sprues. As noted in the wiki article above, in sufficient quantities the material "becomes a recyclable commodity of high value for producers of recycled plastic pellets".
My local Publix accepts plastic bags and styrene packaging for recycling, and I'm certain it adds at least a FEW bucks to the bottom line.
Edited by Ace-Garageguy, 09 May 2013 - 11:22 AM.