Cooler heads prevail | Photo of the day 1.21

Kitt Laws stands next to a massive stack of disposable coolers as she breaks apart pieces of styrofoam material at Bay Hay & Field on Sunday during the second day of a two-day collection effort.

Bainbridge Island Zero Waste, a program of Sustainable Bainbridge, gathered roughly 25 volunteers to help break down and bag the clean-and-dry styrofoam at the weekend event.

Diane Landry of Bainbridge Island Zero Waste said the collection effort started eight years ago, and is typically held twice a year, in January and July.

“This would not happen without Howard Block and Bay Hay & Feed,” Landry said.

Bay Hay & Feed provides space for the collection effort and Block transports the material to Styro Recycle in Renton, where the styrofoam is run through a densifier, a machine that chops up and melts the material into solid 50-pound blocks. According to Landry, plastic recyclers then buy the blocks to convert the material into picture frames, light-switch covers and crown molding.

The collection effort was also sponsored by Beryllium Discovery, with in-kind support coming from T&C Markets.

People who drop off styrofoam at the Bainbridge events are also asked to make a 25 cent donation, which is used to buy collection bags to hold the styrofoam.

(Brian Kelly | Bainbridge Island Review)

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