Keep reading this article; we’ll be discussing Styrofoam recycling near me.
You’ll learn about the possibility of reprocessing this material and where you can recycle it. We’ll also talk about the challenges of reclaiming this waste and more.
However, let’s get clarity on what this item is.
Styrofoam Recyclers Near Me
Styrofoam is a plastic material that is used for brimming various articles. These include food, hygiene products, and electronics.
If you’ve ever bought a new television, you must have encountered a moldy white substance. That’s what is known as Styrofoam. The same brimming is used for computers, phones, etc.
Now, what do you do with Styrofoam products after use?
Do you dump them in landfills or toss them in the trash or garage? Both disposal methods aren’t helpful to the atmosphere.
Therefore, this material isn’t biodegradable and is considered a threat to surrounding health. Rather than throwing them in it away, you should find a way of reclaiming or repurposing them.
What Exactly is Styrofoam?
Some people do confuse this item with “Styrofoam Products.”
They aren’t wrong, though. But the description of Styrofoam is far beyond that. It’s a light blue extruded polystyrene foam (XPF) made from petroleum and natural gas.
You can also refer to it as “blue board” or “pink board.”
Styrofoam is also called expanded polystyrene.
Technically, it’s a petroleum by-product but composed of 95% air. This makes it an excellent weightless and protective material.
Because Styrofoam is weightless, holds temperatures, and is affordable, many manufacturing industries use it as raw material.
They manufacture various products such as building insulation boards, mattresses, picture frames, coffee cups, and other takeout food containers.
Manufacturing industries can also use it to create breakable items such as plates, glass, figurines, and more.
As mentioned earlier, this material is commonly-used plastic that’s resourceful in packaging. However, you can exclusively use it for construction, such as flooring docks or floral arrangements.
Furthermore, Styrofoam is considered a non-biodegradable plastic. Meaning it will take a long time to break down. For that reason, most recyclers do not accept this plastic for reprocessing.
Also, throwing them in landfills is unnecessary because of their toxic components.
Can Styrofoam Be Recycled?
Oh yes! This material is reclaimable.
However, the process is challenging and can add to the problems of most households. For this reason, most municipalities reclaiming centers don’t accept this plastic material.
If you recycle this plastic, take it to a standard reprocessing facility.
Where to Reclaim Styrofoam
Although most reprocessing camps do not accept this material, several other reclaiming alternatives exist.
First, check your local reprocessing program and ask if they take polystyrene for reclaiming or repurposing. Of course, you’ll find some centers that accept this material without hesitation.
Waste management enterprises are other places you can take this material for reprocessing. Until then, you’ll need to place a call and ask where to curb this waste.
Moreover, some regions schedule recycling events occasionally and collect blocked Styrofoam from individuals or doorstep courtesies.
Most of these events are balanced with other recyclable materials for environmental benefits. However, there’s a service fee for expensive and difficult-to-reclaim items.
Advice From Recyclers
Regarding free drop-off recycling, most facilities encourage dumping a small quantity of Styrofoam. Making a memorable trip for such a small amount to a distant location isn’t economical. Plus, you’ll be maximizing the environmental impacts of transporting such items. However, it would be best to remember that this material’s dumping must follow state laws regarding toxic waste.
Reclaiming Styrofoam Peanut
Packaging peanut is one of the products that’s frequently used. Most manufacturing industries often prefer it because of its lightweight and sturdy protection.
Several reclaiming facilities accept this packaging for reprocessing, including regional shipping marts.
As mentioned multiple times, call this recycler to confirm whether they still take this material.
Challengers Faced By Styrofoam Recyclers
Apart from Styrofoam being a difficult-to-reclaim plastic, most reprocessing centers find it necessary to be more profitable.
The cost of transportation vs. the recycling process is more than the value of its recycled products. Moreover, reclaiming this material requires delicate handling to safeguard the surroundings from pollution.
Because this material is composed of 95 percent air, you can find only a handful of plastic. It just means you’ll need lots of Styrofoam to make enough plastic to sell.
According to some research, a cubic Styrofoam yields less than ten pounds of plastic.
You Can’t Reclaim Styrofoam in Your Cart
Reclaiming this material in your cart is not advisable because it may break into tiny pieces.
Cleaning such small details is challenging and can make reprocessing other items difficult. Some cities have tried reclaiming Styrofoam curbside but experienced significant problems.
Another reason you shouldn’t recycle this material near a cart is that the tiny pieces can get blown or washed into the stormwater system.
When this happens, it can pollute the nearby stream or lake.
No Free Styrofoam Recycling
Most recyclers near me don’t offer free reclaiming services. That’s because they often send an additional truck to collect from people who don’t have much of this waste to discard.
The private sector also offers a paid cluster service for this item. You can use the user-paid option via Ridwell when recycling your Styrofoam.
Recycling Styrofoam Comes with a Few Drawbacks
As noted previously, one of the viable options for reclaiming this item is through events. However, the option is accompanied by a few drawbacks.
One among them is that hosting an event for this waste is expensive.
The cost of paying vendors to coordinate the event, including transportation, is six times higher. Additionally, you’ll require ample space to host a recycling event.
Other Options for Styrofoam Recycling
If your local recycling facilities don’t accept this waste, you can make do with other alternatives. These include donating or repurposing it. Local schools often take donations of this waste to execute specific art projects.
You can also help with the challenge by minimizing the usage or consumption of plastic products.
For instance, when you receive an item packed in Styrofoam, you can contact the company to provide a suitable recycling option.
Other than this, you can support extended producer responsibility policies.
Caring for the environment isn’t only the duty of the government alone. You also have a role to play. That’s the most efficient way of combating the threat of climate change and other environmental consequences.
Therefore, instead of disposing of your Styrofoam, you can reclaim it. Right above you are some places you to recycle this material. Patronize them as much as you can.
How Do You Properly Dispose Of Styrofoam?
Now, when it comes to the disposal of Styrofoam, many need to learn how to go about it. But as you keep reading this text, you’ll learn efficient ways of disposing of Styrofoam.
Until then, let’s review what Styrofoam is.
Styrofoam and its products should be appropriately disposed of. There’re several reasons why you should do so. First, it’s not biodegradable.
In other words, it hardly breaks down in dump sites.
According to experts, this material can live on the earth’s surface for centuries. When dumped inappropriately, it can pose irreversible harm to the immediate surroundings.
Secondly, due to the unbiodegradable nature of Styrofoam, it’s difficult or almost impossible to recycle. Furthermore, it takes up valuable space in landfills.
Because of these reasons, the only way out is disposal.
Is Styrofoam Acceptable by Recycling Centers?
As noted earlier, recycling is impossible due to the unbiodegradable nature of Styrofoam.
Because of this, most reprocessing facilities don’t accept Styrofoam and other similar materials.
However, we have a few reprocessing facilities, local grocery stores, and home improvement programs that accept Styrofoam. Those kinds of companies deal with #5 and #6 plastics.
Before you reclaim Styrofoam with them, there’re a few things you’ll need to do. First, ensure that all Styrofoam products are from foreign bodies, such as paper, stickers, scotch tape, etc.
Also, learn to identify recyclable Styrofoam and stay connected with companies that recycle and dispose of Styrofoam.
Furthermore, most recycling plants accept white Styrofoam. If you also have Styrofoam products with triangular symbols, they’re recyclable.
Thus you can take it to a nearby recycling center.
Recycle Styrofoam Yourself
if you don’t have a reprocessing facility that accepts Styrofoam products, you can employ the DIY. It’s also an efficient and economical way of dumping Styrofoam properly.
To recycle Styrofoam, get a clean and dry container and some packaging peanuts. Next, you clean any dirt, such as food residue, from the Styrofoam packaging.
Once you’re done, place the Packaging in the container and ensure the space is filled with peanuts. Now, seal the Styrofoam container and tag it “Styrofoam Recycle.”
Besides recycling Styrofoam, reusing or repurposing are other effective alternatives for disposal. When reusing this material, there’re several options.
These options aren’t just economical but safe as well.
Let’s take a look at them below.
It can serve as Planter Filler.
You can use Styrofoam peanuts or pieces as planter filler. It helps in conserving soil and its nutrients. Additionally, it aids in draining water and making planter light.
Use it For Packaging.
Instead of disposing of Styrofoam in bins and harming the environment, you can channel it for Packaging. You can store household items and other goods.
However, you must ensure it’s clean and dry. You may want to keep your groceries and avoid poisoning.
Suitable Material for Art Projects
You can also make your Styrofoam waste resourceful by generating crafts, props, and sets. The old coolers and large takeout containers are great canvases for producing art pieces.
You can also cut it into fun shapes like swords, lightsabers, and more. However, you must dismantle these items and repurpose them all together.
Adhering to strict safety standards is also advisable.
Donate to Charity
You can donate to charity if you don’t have where to upcycle your Styrofoam. It’s far better than burning, melting, or throwing them in landfills.
Most charity organizations need such material to handle and tackle their daily chores. They also use it for handling and transporting merchandise.
Besides charity, local shipping stores are additionally great places to donate Styrofoam.
Can You Burn Styrofoam or Melt it?
There’re a couple of things you shouldn’t do when disposing of Styrofoam or its products.
First of all, don’t burn Styrofoam. Most people are fun of setting their Styrofoam on fire. They think it’s the easiest and best method of disposal.
But the reality is that it is terrible for health. Remember, we mentioned earlier that this material contains toxic chemicals.
These include carbon monoxide, benzene, styrene monomer, carbon black, and lots more. In certain regions, it’s a criminal offense to burn down such material.
When caught, you’ll be severely penalized.
Secondly, you shouldn’t melt Styrofoam in your home and dump it on the drain. Yes, we know that acetone can dissolve Styrofoam. But it’s not advisable to carry out such experiments in your homes.
Do you know why? The process of melting down Styrofoam with such chemicals produces dangerous fumes. Experts say it can affect your airways and lungs.
Is It Appropriate To Dump Styrofoam in Trash Can?
This is an important question to ask, considering the emphasis on the toxic nature of Styrofoam. Yes! You can dump your Styrofoam or its products in trash cans.
But there’re a couple of things you must do. You must, first of all, get rid of recyclable components. Then crash the Styrofoam into a finer powder.
Before putting it into a trash can, you should seal off the can. The aim is to prevent third parties from inhaling the toxic powder.
In summary, the best ways to properly dispose of Styrofoam are to recycle, upcycle, and donate to charity. These disposal methods are also safe and reduce the production of raw materials in manufacturing industries.
However, when dumping Styrofoam, you must adhere to all the regulations concerning this material. Note that laws can vary from one state to the next.