Many of us have local curbside recycling programs available, where we can set bins out on the curb once a week and have our recycling easily taken away to a magical recycling land. All the work we have to do is toss the items in the bin, no sorting necessary, just toss, put it at the curb and wait. But, what happens to the few items that the recycling company won’t take? Do you throw them away to let them sit forever in the landfill?
There are many materials that are recyclable, like Styrofoam, but are not accepted by many facilities, due to the fact there is not enough profit in it for them. We are lucky to live in a time where recycling many things is easy and sometimes even profitable, for the average consumer who wouldn’t otherwise recycle. Despite Styrofoams bad rap, it is a recyclable material. Unlike common hard plastics, that can be easily recycled, by the average non environmentalist, foam plastic is hard to recycle, even for the most well meaning consumer. The problem is finding the facilities that take it, to recycle.
The following businesses collect Styrofoam for recycling or can direct you to facilities near you that do.
Styrofoam packing peanuts were probably a great idea when they first came out, but now with the invention of the starch packing peanuts, that can dissolve in water and completely biodegrade, there is little to no use for Styrofoam packing peanuts. Although, you will still find many companies using Styrofoam peanuts.
Many shipping stores will accept your Styrofoam packing peanuts. Small town local shipping stores and larger mail shops, such as The UPS Stores, Fed Ex/Kinkos and Mailboxes Etc. across the nation, will usually happily accept your foam packing peanuts. They will reuse them to ship packages that are given to them to prepare and ship out.
Recycled Plastic Markets Database
Through the Recycled Plastic Markets Database website you can enter your zip code and state and it will supply you with a list of companies (names, address and phone numbers) near you that buy your Styrofoam, as well as other plastics.
Alliance of Foam Packing Recyclers
Alliance of Foam Packing Recyclers is a company that will recycle your Styrofoam. The Styrofoam you get boxed up with that new stereo or the various other things that bring Styrofoam into your life. Although, they do not accept food service Styrofoam. They have drop off locations in some areas, in several states. But, if you do not live close to one you can ship your Styrofoam to them and they will recycle it. There is no charge, but you do have to pay the cost to ship it to them. Styrofoam is so light that the shipping fees are not much more than gas. They even allow you to cut, chop or shed the foam in any way that will allow you to get the most in a box, for your shipping dollar.
Some craft stores accept donations of Styrofoam. They provide the donated Styrofoam for their craft customers to use in their craft projects. It is best to call your local craft store to see if they do accept Styrofoam and which forms they accept, if they do.