Doing our part to help the environment: Part 1

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Ohm Systems is committed to doing all we can to operate as a sustainable and eco-friendly company.

As a company, Ohm has a commitment to not only running our business in an environmentally friendly way, but also in making a difference on a larger scale if we see the need or opportunity to do so.  This is the first in a series of articles relating to our experience, trials and tribulations in our effort to do the right thing for the planet.

As a low voltage, audio video company, Ohm Systems receives a great deal of equipment packaged in Styrofoam.  We have come to understand over the past few years that Styrofoam is very difficult to recycle, and in Portland there are very few recyclers that accept it at all. Also known as Expanded Polystrene (EPS), Styrofoam is composed mainly of petroleum. Petroleum can be very harmful to the body, and in turn the earth. The type of Styrofoam most commonly used for packaging electronics and other goods is Styrofoam #6. This Styrofoam is far more sturdy than say food packaging Styrofoam, but can be recycled while other kinds cannot be. Total Reclaim, Recology and Far West Recycling are the three recyclers in and around Portland that accept styrofoam. These recyclers take the #6 styrofoam, shred it up finely, and expose it to extreme heat to transform it into plastic. This plastic is then sent to countries such as China, and made into items such as picture frames or toothbrushes. As a company, we have decided to put more effort into recycling the packaging Styrofoam we receive. Rather than making constant trips out to Far West Recycling in Beaverton, OR, we will save Styrofoam in our warehouse until one of our employees is heading out to Beaverton for a job. Dropping off Styrofoam at Far West recycling on the way to a job cuts back on C02 emissions by not having to take a separate trip.  Without taking advantage of these logistical opportunities, recycling styrofoam in the Portland area would be very challenging.