Styrofoam is everywhere. It stores your food, holds items securely in their packaging, and provides insulation. But is Styrofoam recyclable? Learn what you can do to reduce its environmental impact. Foamed polystyrene — also known as Styrofoam — is a thermoplastic material used in countless everyday applications, but is Styrofoam recyclable? Most of the molded parts inside your car are made from polystyrene too. Recently, however, this ubiquitous plastic has received a lot of bad eco-rep because of its ecological effects.
Foamed polystyrene Styrofoam was discovered accidentally by scientists working for Dow Chemical Company in when they were experimenting with a new form of electrical insulation.
As such the name Styrofoam was trademarked by the company in and the thermoplastic gained widespread use in United States manufacturing by the late s. However, the fact is that the building blocks of polystyrene are more dangerous than you may have thought.
Polystyrene is made from styrene, which is also made from byproducts of petroleum, many of which are neither renewable nor biodegradable. Styrofoam is an inert material that is not particularly affected by acids or other chemicals occurring naturally in the environment. For this reason, it can persist in its form for hundreds of years.
Disposing of Styrofoam in landfill just adds to the problem of non-biodegradable products filling up landfill and degrading at an extremely slow rate. For this reason, environmentally-conscious people seek to avoid products comprising Styrofoam. There are claims that some toxic substances in Styrofoam can leach out of the material into the packaged food, and eventually into our bodies. What in your power can you do? You can intentionally cut out Styrofoam products by choosing biodegradable alternatives especially food containers.
Avoid hot food packaged in Styrofoam, and choose recyclable packaging options instead. It is still a big part of the electronics packaging industry, among others. Learning the best ways to deal with it — in addition to intentionally avoiding it — is a more plausible way to minimize its effects.
However, the process is very difficult and in some cases, it is deemed as not economically viable. To find out more about electronics recycling, hard drive shredding, and other aspects of data security and recycling, contact All Green Recycling today. The Pros and Cons of Styrofoam.
Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Is Styrofoam Recyclable? The Origins of Styrofoam Foamed polystyrene Styrofoam was discovered accidentally by scientists working for Dow Chemical Company in when they were experimenting with a new form of electrical insulation. Is Styrofoam Dangerous to the Environment?
What About the Health Effects of Styrofoam? Your options are: Drop it off at a specialized recycling facility. If you know where to recycle electronics then you have a good starting point. Book a pick-up service to collect it and dispose of it. This is especially valid if you have huge volumes of Styrofoam waste. Learn how to recycle computers so that you know how to take care of delicate waste items.
Post a comment Cancel reply Let us know what you have to say:.You stopped at a coffee shop, got a cup of Joe to go, then went home and grabbed a yogurt out of the fridge. You buy a takeout meal that comes in a cardboard container with a plastic lid and plastic utensils. You also get a juice box to go, and your order is placed into a plastic bag. I have some answers for you, because I saved up all my potential recyclables for two weeks and, instead of parking them curbside, took them directly to the Athens Services Material Recovery Facility in Sun Valley, which receives about one-seventh of the recyclables picked up by the L.
Sanitation Department. While I was saving my discards, The Times had two stories about what has become a national recycling crisis. One, by Alex Wigglesworthwas about the collapse of the beverage container recycling market, which is a blow to low-income people who make a few bucks at redemption centers.
The other story, by Piper McDanielwas about recyclable materials piling up in the United States, due in large part to lower prices and demand from China, which for years was the major purchaser of our waste.
And all this is happening as our consumptive habits require more goods, more packaging, more waste. Zaldivar said his department is trying to better educate consumers about what can go in the blue bin and also to develop customers for our recycling waste in Mexico, Canada and the United States, given the dried-up market in Asia.
Our instant gratification needs lead to more shipping from Amazon and other suppliers, and conservation is not part of the equation. You can order a pair of toenail clippers that lands on your doorstep in two or three boxes big enough to fit a small child inside, along with bubble wrap and maybe some package strapping. He said two bills pending in Sacramento would help address the recycling crisis. One would require packaging producers to make all plastic materials recyclable.
The other would require plastic beverage containers to be made from recycled material — which would help ensure a market for all that recycled plastic. And we can all make a difference by recognizing wasteful packaging and boycotting certain products until the makers and sellers get it right. Even so, there have been many times when I stood in my kitchen with a disposable item and paused over whether to put it into trash or recycling.
Johnny Stevenson, assistant general manager at the Athens plant in Sun Valley, said about tons of blue bin materials arrive at that facility each day.
And customers tend to get it right. And what it says to me is that instead of giving up on recycling, as some have suggested we should, we need to get better at it.
But some customers make that difficult, according to L. Sanitation employees Littleton T. Gardner IV and Jose Alonso.A plan to recycle the unrecyclable - Ashton Cofer
I did better than that. Almost everything in my four bags of recycling was acceptable. Newspapers, magazines, cardboard, mail, beer bottles, tomato cans, aluminum cans, wine bottles, empty yogurt cups and the foil lids.Almost everything can be recycled!
In general, as long as the item does not have food or liquid in it, it should be recycled. This includes paper, plastic, metal, and glass. Visit this page for more information. You have a couple of options. You can donate your cell phone to the Wireless Foundation, which will be programmed to assist victims of domestic violence if the phone is in working condition or disposed of in a safe way if the phone is not in working condition.
Center located at Charles E. Young Drive. Empty pizza boxes may be recycled even if they have grease on them. If you are recycling many plastic bags, do not worry about putting all of the bags into one bag to make it neater. The bags will be taken out at the recycling facility to ensure that they are empty anyway. No, Styrofoam is unfortunately not recyclable.
Most recycling facilities do not accept Styrofoam in their recycling programs because it is not feasible to recycle Styrofoam. Items are recyclable because 1 the product can be recycled into something new and 2 there is a market for the recycled product. However, the bulky but lightweight structure of Styrofoam and other similar foam products make the material hard to process and there is very little market for recycled foam products. For more information, the L. County Department of Public Works has kindly provided a table of recyclable items to help you!
Household recycling guide
Just click on the following link: LA County Recycling. No, but please empty them first. While it is preferable that containers be placed into the bins be empty, they will be recycled regardless. All trapped liquids get squeezed out in the recycling process, but the liquids can cause contamination issues for the rest of the recycling load. It is not required to do this, though it is preferred if there is a lot of food.
Let us rephrase: Please, no food or liquids in the recycling bins. Drain liquids and scrape as much food out into a compost container if available or a landfill bin before recycling your container.Please place the bundles next to your blue bin, facing the street so our drivers can see them. LA Sanitation LASAN provides solid resources collection services tohouseholds, comprised ofsingle-family andmulti-family homes duplex to four-unit buildings.
The four-bin collection system consists of blue bins recyclablesgreen bins tree and yard trimmingsblack bins residual waste and brown bins horse manure.
Using the calculation methodology adopted by the State of California, the City has achieved a landfill diversion rate of The City recognizes that waste management is a fundamental component of overall environmental sustainability and climate change efforts, and an integral part of the effort to reduce greenhouse gases. The program began in after the completion of a pilot recycling program that was conducted in several areas throughout Los Angeles.
Initially, the City distributed gallon yellow and green plastic recycling buckets to every household and collected their contents weekly using a fleet of manual and semi-automatic recycling collection trucks.
Bythe program was so successful that the gallon bins weren't sufficient for the volume of recyclables generated by each resident and as a result, the City issued gallon blue bins to each household and switched to using fully automated recycling collection vehicles. The City of Los Angeles currently operates the largest residential curbside recycling program in the United States, collecting a variety of recyclables from overhouseholds every week.
Using fully automated collection vehicles in conjunction with gallon blue bins for recyclable materials and gallon green containers for yard trimmings, the City currently collects an average of tons per day of recyclable materials and 1, tons per day of green waste from Los Angeles City residents. Participating residents includesingle family homes andmulti-family units four units or less.
Centers and Mobile Collection Events. Update on coronavirus. Solid Resources. Green Waste. Plastic Straws-on-Request Ordinance. Mandatory Commercial Organics Recycling. Los Angeles Regional Agency. Single-Use Carryout Bag Ban. Mandatory Commercial Recycling. Blue Bin Recycling. Green Bin Recycling. Tire Recycling Program. Metal Household Appliances. Recycling Market Development Zone.The main chemical component of Styrofoam is a chemical known as Styrene.
If exposed to styrene directly there can be effects to the eyes, digestive system, and even the central nervous system. This is especially troubling for anyone who has ever put a Styrofoam container into the microwave. The toxic chemicals in Styrofoam can leak out of the container and into your food. As a detriment to the environment, Styrofoam is harmful from the beginning. To start, Styrofoam is manufactured using petroleum, which is a non sustainable energy source.
If the product is not recycled, thoughtlessly thrown down in the woods or on the side of the highway, it can become dangerous to any animals in the area. Animals will gnaw on the Styrofoam and it will seriously harm their digestive systems. Styrofoam AKA polystyrene falls into a grey area when it comes to recycling. It is tough to get rid of, and it is everywhere.
Typically, Styrofoam is put to no use at it is simply put into a landfill at the state's expense. Furthermore, as you have probably already noticed, disregarded pieces of Styrofoam can be found in the outdoors all the time.
Styrofoam is an especially detrimental form of litter as it is not biodegradable. It is incredibly important to recycle Styrofoam or avoid using it all together. It can be harmful to both you and the environment around you. Take your Styrofoam out of the trashcan.
Your garbageman will not accept your trash if they see Styrofoam in it. Your neighborhood recycling center also may not accept Styrofoam. Some centers may accept Styrofoam, but they are harder to find.
If you do find a center that will accept your excess Styrofoam, odds are that they will not accept any that held food or medical products. Unexpected chemicals can disrupt recycling.
Visit Earth Save your Styrofoam in a safe place. Packing companies use Styrofoam all the time to ensure the integrity of what you are shipping, you can do the same. Next time you open a box that has Styrofoam protecting pieces, don't just throw it away. Put the Styrofoam in a plastic bag and use it the next time you have to ship something.
The same goes for packing peanuts. Just make sure that you are keeping your excess Styrofoam away from your food and medical products. Contact your local post office. Many UPS stores will accept your packing peanuts and even your bulk Styrofoam. Certain companies will even pay you for your excess Styrofoam.
Foam Recycling Programs (Drop-offs and Municipal Programs)
The American Chemistry council has a database of people willing to pay near you. These buyers will turn your useless Styrofoam into future products: lunch trays, cups, and bicycle helmets, among others. Purchase some Limonene, an orange extract, on the internet.
When you spray the product on the Styrofoam it will dissolve into a gooey substance that can be used as super glue.In Los Angeles, light bulbs cannot be placed in the recycling bin.
Incandescent bulbs can be thrown in the black trash bin, but fluorescent, compact fluorescent lamp CFL and light-emitting diode LED bulbs are considered household hazardous waste and must be taken to a Solvents, Automotive, Flammables and Electronics, or SAFE, center for disposal because they may contain mercury or other hazardous materials. Hot Property. About Us. Brand Publishing. Times News Platforms. Times Store. Cold drinks usually come in two types of cups at fast-food restaurants -- entirely plastic or paper coated with polyethylene.
The city of Los Angeles discourages the disposal of fireplace ash in the green bin for yard waste. Many residents burn wood that is chemically treated, or they burn commercially produced fire logs that may contain toxic additives and chemicals.
The ash from such items contaminates the green waste that the city recycles as compost or mulch. Car seats can be recycled by Los Angeles residents in their blue bins. That makes them valuable. Culver City: No. Glendale: Yes, but only through bulk bin pickup.
Long Beach: No. Los Angeles: Yes. Manhattan Beach: Only the plastic base. Riverside: Yes. Santa Barbara: Yes, if metal or plastic. Santa Monica: No. Los Angeles residents can place CDs and DVDs in the blue recycling bin because they are made of polycarbonate, which the city says has value in the recycled-materials market.
CD jewel cases and DVD movie cases also can be recycled in the blue bin as long as they are empty and the paper sleeves have been removed. The paper sleeves also can be recycled but must be placed separately in the blue bin. They are trash and should be placed in the black bin. The sheets are infused with cleaning chemicals, and the dirt, dust and other debris that they collect would contaminate the recycling process. Most chopsticks are plastic or wooden.
Wooded chopsticks can be placed in L. Burbank: Yes. Wooden chopsticks can go in the green bin.These items are taken to a recycling facility where they are sorted by material, then sold to manufacturers to make new products.
Shredding paper is cool for security, but it makes paper less valuable for recycling. Greeting cards and envelopes no metallic or glittery cards. Peanuts accepted only when placed in a transparent bag, tied closed. Bundling is better. Pits, seeds and rinds are not accepted. Centers map. Use caution when disposing of broken fluorescent light bulbs Compost your tree! Remove the stand and ornaments and place your tree next to your bin for pickup.
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