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Disposing of hard styrofoam?

Posted by aok27502 NC (My Page) on
Sun, Jan 28, 07 at 18:07

Is there any green way to dispose of chunks of hard styrofoam, like is packed in the box when you buy a new small appliance or computer?

I take my packing peanuts to the shipping store, but what to do with the big stuff??

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RE: Disposing of hard styrofoam?

unfortunately the landfill is the only place ... hopefully someday it'll be replaced with the potato/corn starch foam, which is what a lot of the peanuts are now

to tell if the peanuts are potato starch, just put one in water, if it is it'll quickly disolve ... if they are potato starch you can compost them if there's no packing place around that'll take'em


RE: Disposing of hard styrofoam?

  • Posted by bry84 England (My Page) on
    Mon, Jan 29, 07 at 10:22

There are commercial processes for reprocessing polystyrene, but a lot of it is thrown away by consumers because they don't have easy access to them. Most domestic recycling schemes don't collect it because it comprises a very small quantity of our individual waste, and potentially it is of very low value as well.

Although called polystyrene recycling, it is not a material that is ideal for recycling as it suffers significant degradation when reprocessed. It's mostly used in rather small quantities as a ground up filler in new expanded polystyrene, it reduces the end product's properties significantly and because it is limited to only a small amount of the product's mass, even with maximum recycling, something far from achieved, the polystyrene industry would still require vast quantities of new materials and generate lots of post-consumer waste.

This site tells you a lot more about recycling/reprocessing it, although it is an industry funded program so it does rather look on the bright side of expanded polystyrene:

Here is a link that might be useful: Alliance of foam packaging recyclers

RE: Disposing of hard styrofoam?

The nearest Styrofoam recycler here is about 60 miles away. Even if I fill up my diesel with a neighborhood's worth of Styrofoam, it's still a dubious expenditure of time and resources. :-(

One thing you could do with some of it is to break it up into smaller chunks and use it as packaging material yourself.

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