Foam Only: Creating a Zero Waste Society

When Vancouver residents, Mark Obedzinski and Noel Massey started Foam Only back in 2012, they had one goal in mind, to create a zero waste society. By providing a cost effective solution for collecting expanded polystyrene (EPS), Foam Only has made significant headway over the past two years in its effort towards reaching this goal.

When Mark was researching the recycling of asphalt shingles, a landfill operator mentioned that there is more opportunity with EPS foam. It was then that Mark realized he was chasing after the wrong material. He quickly switched his focus to the recycling of EPS foam which led him and his partner, Noel, to the creation of Foam Only.

As a drop off facility, Foam Only welcomes their client companies to dispose of their used EPS foam material. Once delivered, the EPS is sorted and then compressed into small blocks with the help of a grinding machine. In order to make room for incoming raw materials, the compressed foam is then shipped to China where it is recycled into new products such as picture frames and door moldings. Foam

To date, Foam Only processes about 40 tons of EPS foam every month. That being said, the company recently submitted a bid to become the processor for EPS foam in the new Extended Producers Responsibility Program that will begin in the middle of next month for the province of BC. If chosen, Foam Only will be processing an additional 60 tons per month which will later grow to an estimated 200 tons of EPS foam a month. To increase the company’s efficiency, Foam Only has invested in new machinery that includes a walking floor, conveyor sorting lines, and a new high capacity grinder that can process up to 240 cubic yards an hour.  

As Foam Only grows, they are looking to open processing plants in locations that are congruent with those hauling the EPS foam. By following this formula, haulers will be able to procure material from their clients and deliver it to a central processing center.

Thank you to Foam Only co-founder, Mark Obedzinski, for sharing his story with us.