Does anyone know of what can be done with large pieces of styrofoam like computers and stereos are packed in? I have a bunch and don't want to just send it to the landfill. (Originally published 2000-07-28)
If there is a mailing service in your area they usually will take and reuse styrofoam from packing boxes, also the styrofoam peanuts, and plastic bubble wrap. I've been doing this for years and am glad that I am not contributing to the land fill.
I give these to my 2 little boys ages 2 and 4 to hammer golf tees into; older kids could possibly hammer nails. The material does not fall apart and actually closes up when the pegs are pulled out.
I use 'polystyrene' to make mirror frames. I cut it with a craft knife into the shape I want, then cut out a hole in the middle. I use old broken mirror that I cut into shape with a glass cutter (use gloves and goggles) and tape to the back with wide masking tape. Use an old paper-clip for a hanging hook, just bend to shape and push in. Then I use paper mache to cover the entire thing. Leave to dry then paint and add your own decoration as desired.
I make these to my own designs and I've sold two which the lady took to the Middle-East for presents for relatives. Especially good as they are sturdy (due to the paper mache) yet light (the polystyrene.)
If you have little ones underfoot, there is no limit to the rainy-day, crafty fun styrofoam can provide. My son and I made a castle, a rocket, a schoolbus.... For the castle, cut each "tower" out of the weird, thin long pieces (Big 'ole kitchen sciccors should work), and attach them to the main "building" (the biggest, boxiest piece) with toothpicks and glue. (hot glue melts the styrofoam, so stick to Elmer's). You can paint it with Tempera paint. (many other paints will also melt the styrofoam, but tempera works very well).
Experiment and have fun...then give the creations to family members as gifts. We do it all the time, and everyone loves watching his "sculptures" evolve as he gets older!
I do a lot of shipping to my family out of state and I save them and use them myself for shipping. It never fails that I have a box with an indented top that I need "filler" that doesn't weigh much and the styrofoam comes in handy. I also save bubble wrap, packing peanuts, and that foamy wrap that comes on items to save for the same purpose.
One kind of this styro packing material crumples up into little balls of foam, suitable for filling bean bags. I make the bean bag out of scrap fabric or old clothing (pant leg or shirt sleeve is great) and put a chunk of the stryo material inside, then sew it up closed. I then let the kids break it up, inside the bag, into pieces. They love to do it, too.
Yes, I am recycling styrofoam panels and blocks everyday. I am developing new panels and blocks for construction and craft projects. For more information please email your request.
I work for a major sign company. I am trying to find someone who recycles large quantities of styrofoam. If anyone out there has any info on recyclers of styrofoam please e-mail me any info you might have to: email@example.com
Here are a few links. A lot of places will recycle styrofoam peanuts but it is more difficult to find somewhere that will recycle the large pieces. I would check with the disposal company or county waste division about what to do with the styrofoam and if there is anywhere that takes it for recycling. You don't mention where the company is located so I can't really help more.
Susan at ThriftyFun
how much styrofoam peanuts do i use to make a bean bag chair?
For most of the country, it may be too long a drive to be worth the bother, but... There is a company in Tucson, AZ called Mikey Block that recycles clean styrofoam and turns it into building materials. They gladly accept whatever you drop off.
I find the Stephanie Green's suggestion in using Styrofoam for construction panels and building blocks.
Will gladly bring the stuff to you but, it will cost a lot being located in the Asian continent. If I may, would you share your recycling technology for this purpose?
Green Earth Advocate
Can Styrofoam be ground up and used as attic insulation? I'm wondering if this is a safe practice with the heat generated in an attic in the summer-time. I'm talking about the rigid panels that come as form-fitted packaging. Right now, I just break it into small pieces. If there is a machine available to grind them into pea-sized particles, it would be even better.
I am an art teacher. I have the students use them to make styrofoam stamps instead of rubber stamps. Our cafeteria uses styrofoam trays. When I saw how much trash it was creating, I decided to use them for stamps. They are making designs or monograms with pencils and rolling tempera over it. They have a stamp that is personalized and they want to keep it instead of throwing into the landfills! :)
"let the kids play with it" seems to be the consensus here. As far as I can see, that's not much of a solution, as it transfers a box or pile of barely manageable size to ten thousand little bits scattered over the landscape. It makes "your" problem "everybody's" problem, and somehow that puts your conscience at rest?
If you have lots of time and an unlimited electrical budget, try baking it in an aluminum pan at 400 degrees or so for half an hour. It reduces the volume considerably, so at least you don't fill up the landfill quite so quick.
If you have the right tools, there are a lot of things you can do with Styrofoam...crafts, insulation, etc.
Here is a company that sells a variety of foam cutters:
Large pieces of polyethylene foam are particularly valuable for those of us who make bobbin lace. Check out your local needle / handicraft guilds?
You can use the large chunks of styrofoam to make faux rocks to place in your landscape. Pieces can be glued together to make a general shape. The foam is wrapped in chicken wire. Relatively dry concrete is applied to the foam shape to cover. The thickness, size, color, texture and shape are your discretion and creativeness. Much cheaper than buying rocks from landscaper. Having rocks brought into your yard can cost $400/ton plus additional cost for placement. Heavier rocks will require machinery to move and place the materials causing more cost as well as damage to your lawn. Home made rocks will be a fraction of the weight and cost. In addition, you are in control of the shape of the rocks.
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