Styrofoam densifier

Styrofoam densifier

Styrofoam Densifier

I am a member of the Master Recycling program of Tillamook County. Master recyclers go through an intensive 3 day training session to learn about all of the elements and issues of waste and recycling. We support the efforts of the Tillamook Solid Waste Department (can’t they change their name?!?) to increase the amount of recyclable material that is diverted from the county’s transfer stations. There are currently 21 of us, and we are involved in many recycling projects and events throughout the year.

Styrofoam is a large component of the material that finds its way into the transfer stations. Styrofoam is 98% air, and takes hundreds of years, if ever, to break down in landfills. Tillamook County was able to secure a DEQ grant to purchase a styrofoam densifying machine. The densifier removes the air from the styrofoam and compresses it into very dense blocks. These blocks are then sold to companies that repurpose the compressed styrofoam into products such as picture frames and coat hangers.

The densifier was hard at work recently at CartM transfer station in Manzanita. Master Recyclers, Tillamook County and CartM staff processed 35 Super Sacks (about 5′ x 5′) of styrofoam in about 7 hours.¬† This resulted in 520 pounds of compressed blocks of styrofoam.

There are 35 super sacks remaining at CartM, and at least that many have been collected and are waiting processing at Tillamook’s transfer station.

We are fortunate that a small community like ours is in possession of a styrofoam densifier. The Tillamook transfer station accepts styrofoam during Hazardous Waste collection days. CartM accepts styrofoam the first weekend of each month.

Please check with your local waste hauler or recycling center to see if they can accept styrofoam. We need to keep it out of landfills.


Compressed blocks emerge from the densifier.


Super sacks full of styrofoam.