Recycle Styrofoam, Save Water

9 years 5 months 2 weeks ago June 20, 2007 Jun 20, 2007 Wednesday, June 20 2007 Wednesday, June 20, 2007 3:33:51 PM CDT in News

Mike Strumsky opened his styrofoam recycling business only three months ago and he's already emptied out his warehouse.

"My machine has a veracious appetite. It'll eat up to 180 cubic yards of foam a day," said Strumsky.

Since March of this year, the material processing center recycled nearly 80,000 pounds of styrofoam. It's mostly reused as packing material.

Strumsky decided to start the business after seeing a problem at the Lake of the Ozarks. By the end of 2008, Ameren UE wants all of the white styrofoam keeping the docks at the lake gone.

"It had a tendancy to break up, becomes a navigational hazard. Chunks of it float into the cove, it's an unsightly mess," he said.

Part of the problem with the styfofoam is the amount of water it holds. For every one cubic foot of styrofoam you can extract as much as one gallon of water.

After the water is removed, the styrofoam can be wrapped, shipped off and reused instead of becoming trash. The only problem with bussiness is business is too good.

"We did have 3,000 cubic yards of foam in this building at one time and it went away in about two weeks," said Strumsky.

He just hopes production will stay afloat.

All of the docks at the lake will soon have to use encapsulated floats instead of regular styrofoam.

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