A local recycling plant is turning tons of plastic waste into useful material.

The facility, which just opened in Tigard Thursday, takes polystyrene materials, such as Styrofoam, and puts them through a one-of-a-kind chemical conversion process.

John Desmarteu, a project engineer at Agilyx, said the facility will recycle up to 10 tons of trash per day and will turn the waste into materials that might be used in shopping bags, plastic cups, food trays, or other common packaging.

“It’s the first of its kind to create that circular economy for plastic waste,” Desmarteu said.

The process is complicated but widely applicable; and it doesn’t matter if the materials are dirty.

“We’re able to take all these different types of material, from rigid to foam … doesn’t even matter if there’s a bit of food waste that’s on it, doesn’t matter if there’s dirt,” Desmarteu said. “We’re still able to take that material in and turn it into a new product.”

The facility says it gets most of its material from local businesses and store distribution centers, but urges local residents to donate their waste, too.

A 24-hour drop box at the plant is open to everyone with surplus waste. The drop box, in the 7900 block of Southwest Hunziker Street, is never closed.

“If you or someone you know is currently generating any polystyrene waste, come talk to Agilyx so we can put that waste to better use,” Desmarteu said.

The company accepts number six polystyrene products for free.

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