CityMix agreement ushers EPS giant into recycled-foam aggregate

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Under an exclusive agreement with Seattle-based CityMix Inc., Insulfoam is processing a lightweight concrete additive at its northern California expanded polystyrene (EPS) plant, with options for production throughout the U.S. Leading up to the Insulfoam agreement, CityMix aggregate was processed at a licensed facility in Calgary, Canada. The patented CityMix production makes use of the 1–2 percent of in-plant waste that cannot otherwise be recycled into specification-grade EPS insulation or geofoam lightweight fill.

“We’re constantly on the lookout to recycle as much [EPS] as possible,” says Insulfoam Regional Sales Director Rick Canaday. “CityMix certainly fits the bill as an innovative and beneficial product that diverts material from the waste stream.”
“When looking for EPS manufacturers to partner with, Insulfoam was at the top of our list given its nationwide presence and reputation as a quality manufacturer,” notes CityMix President Dick Patterson. The CityMix process recycles EPS foam into a lightweight (< 3 lb./cu. ft.), economical and user-friendly additive for concrete, he adds.

Resembling gray sand, CityMix particles consist of EPS foam fragments encapsulated in a non-toxic and performance-enhancing outer shell. They become a partial substitute for fine and coarse aggregate in cement-based mixtures. Beyond using in-plant waste, the CityMix process also accommodates recycling of insulation trim-off from jobsites, plus board insulation removed from a building at the end of its service life.

To that end, Insulfoam has begun offering haul back of trim-off from the field and end of life removal, which simplifies contractors’ recycling efforts. A division of Carlisle Construction Materials, the company is the largest manufacturer of block-molded EPS and graphite polystyrene in North America, with 10 plants throughout the United States.