Ellensburg works to save environment - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Ellensburg works to save environment

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ELLENSBERG, Wash -- Every day Styrofoam from TVs, computers and furniture is thrown away -- to sit in a land fill forever. But Rance de Witt has a plan to change that.

For the past few months he has been collecting Styrofoam from students and local businesses, including, Sears. Using a modified TroyBuilt Chipper, he breaks the Styrofoam into little pieces and then mixes it with concrete. The thermal cement is as strong as regular cinder blocks but has five times the insulation and sound proofing qualities of cement. It is also water resistant and fire retardant.

Engineers have long known of the strong lightweight mixture, but no one has ever tried a mass collecting and recycling program. De Witt, who calls his mixture "white gold," says this is a great way to reduce waste and save energy, and he is hoping the judges at The Virgin Earth Challenge agree.

He and his research team have submitted their idea to the contest, and hopes their recycling program can take the top prize of $25,000,000, which is awarded to any group who are able to demonstrate a commercially viable design which will result in the net removal of waste and contribute to the stability of the earths climate.

The recycling trailer on the corner of Ruby and 7th in Ellensburg, across from the Alberstons.

Rance de Witt's website is www.concertpark.com