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Recycling Styrofoam

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While many municipalities do not allow Styrofoam containers, peanuts, or blocks in the curbside recycling bins it can often be recycled elsewhere. This is a guide about recycling Styrofoam.
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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 0 found this helpful
April 24, 2009

I'm in Honolulu, HI (Island of Oahu) and looking for some place to recycle Styrofoam packing material.

By 808lovinlife from Honolulu, HI

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Answers

April 26, 20090 found this helpful

If you have a lot of styrofoam packaging peanuts, take them to a warehouse that uses them for packing items in to customers. Just call around and I'm sure some business would love to have them and make good use of it.

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May 1, 20090 found this helpful

Att: William Young,
Let me introduce myself. My name is Tim O'Brien . Iam VP of sales for O'Brien Packaging in North Canton, Oh.
I found your request saying you where looking for someone to recycle styrofoam . I am currently looking for people like yourself who has the capability to handle ALL the styrofoam you can send me by truckloads if necessary. Please feel free to contact me directly anytime the first of the week. My

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cell Phone #-330-705-8496. I look forward to hearing from you.I can gointo details when you call.
Thank you, Tim O'Brien

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May 5, 20090 found this helpful

I've seen in UPS stores signs that they take packing peanuts back for recycling.

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May 5, 20090 found this helpful

Freecycle is an online site that matches up people who have things that would otherwise be thrown away twith people who can use them. When I moved I got many moving boxes, paper, styrofoam etc. this way. Merlene

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March 16, 20120 found this helpful

How to recycle Styrofoam with food on it?

By Jeff

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March 16, 20120 found this helpful

Wash off the food, then you can recycle the styrofoam.

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March 16, 20120 found this helpful

My area won't take the Styrofoam in the recycling, so, I clean it and find uses for it! A nice firm piece to wrap a sandwich to, a note holder, cut out shapes for crafts, etc.

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March 17, 20120 found this helpful

You can scrape the food off, and wash it if you want to use it again. I use Dixie paper plates instead of styrofoam.

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By 0 found this helpful
November 30, 2010

How do I turn Styrofoam into glue?

By dan123 from Calgary, Canada

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November 30, 20100 found this helpful

brighthub.com/environment/green-living/articles/20016.aspx

Recycle Styrofoam: Make Your Own Glue
In the last article on Styrofoam (polystyrene), we looked at various ways in which people were recycling the polystyrene at home. Here we are going to go over a process in which you can turn your polystyrene into a super glue at home through a discovery that comes from a Japanese researcher at Sony.

Tsutomu Noguchi of the Sony Research Center found that the oil from orange peels would dissolve polystyrene. By using a product called Limoene, that contains .5% of the orange peel oil Noguchi found that the polystyrene would break down into a liquid form that created a very strong glue and can be used to create styrene pellets that go back into the production of more polystyrene. Currently, the Sony Corporation is the only major company to mass recycle polystyrene in this way through a full system that they call The Orange Network System. You can learn more about this process at: www.Sony.net

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In order to make a polystyrene or styrofoam glue at home you will need some items to get the job done properly. So, first gather the following:

Two or Three Styrofoam (polystyrene) food containers
Limonene/Orange Oil *can be purchased at Citrus Depot
Large Metal Pot
Clean Jar or Jars with lids

Once you have your items together, the first thing you'll want to do is get set up in a well ventilated area or go outside. The Limonene has a powerful orange scent and the polystyrene can be odorous while breaking down.

Tear up or cut your polystyrene into small pieces
Place your polystyrene into the metal pot
Start off with pouring 4oz of Limonene onto the polystyrene
The polystyrene will then break down into a thin liquid form. Take the resulting liquid, which will amount to about 9oz and pour into a jar. Label it well as "Glue" before you put it away, so you and your household will know what it is later.

Chose to use your glue wisely, as it can also act as a type of sealant. Once you use it, just like some of the better super glues it is there to stay and is very hard to get off.

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December 2, 20100 found this helpful

In order to make a polystyrene or styrofoam glue at home you will need some items to get the job done properly. So, first gather the following:

Two or Three Styrofoam (polystyrene) food containers
Limonene/Orange Oil *can be purchased at Citrus Depot
Large Metal Pot
Clean Jar or Jars with lids
Once you have your items together, the first thing you'll want to do is get set up in a well ventilated area or go outside. The Limonene has a powerful orange scent and the polystyrene can be odorous while breaking down.

Tear up or cut your polystyrene into small pieces
Place your polystyrene into the metal pot
Start off with pouring 4oz of Limonene onto the polystyrene

The polystyrene will then break down into a thin liquid form. Take the resulting liquid, which will amount to about 9oz and pour into a jar. Label it well as "Glue" before you put it away, so you and your household will know what it is later.

Chose to use your glue wisely, as it can also act as a type of sealant. Once you use it, just like some of the better super glues it is there to stay and is very hard to get off.

I got this from Green Living.

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December 5, 20100 found this helpful

I found this link while doing a search: http://www.brig … icles/20016.aspx

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By 0 found this helpful
May 12, 2010

I've been recycling for a little while now and I can't find a place for the styrofoam. Any ideas?

By Nicole from Grand Rapids, MI

Answers

May 12, 20100 found this helpful

You might look here at earth911.com:

http://search.e … ity=Grand+Rapids

http://www.ehow … e-styrofoam.html


I just saw a story/video on the news last month on how they recycle the styrofoam that was interesting:

http://www.king … up-90121662.html

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August 20, 20100 found this helpful

I chose to gather up my blocks or styrofoam padding pieces or peanuts as they call them and take them to
a UPS location nearest you. When I take them there,you would be surprised how badly they can use them. I usually gather them up in garbage bags when I get items especially things I buy on EBAY or larger boxed item.
They wont give you money for them but they really get used there and they appreciate the donation!

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August 2, 20020 found this helpful

I recycle everything I can, except I cannot find anyone who will take the Styrofoam coffee cups from the fast food restaurants. I usually have 5 to 7 per week. I don't want to fill up the our landfills if they can be recycled. On the bottom of the cup is the recycle sign with a "6" in the center and "PS" underneath. Any help? I live in Atlanta, GA.
-cdolfin

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June 16, 20110 found this helpful

That sounds great but it would be even better if the cups were recyled material already. While we are on the subject of coffee, I just found out there was healthy coffee made from a mushroom from Malaysia, the name is Ganoderma Lucidium.Go here and try it.
www.instacafe.organogold.com

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March 3, 20110 found this helpful

I recycle everything I can, except I cannot find anyone who will take the Styrofoam coffee cups from the fast food restaurants. I usually have 5 to 7 per week. I don't want to fill up the our landfills if they can be recycled. On the bottom of the cup is the recycle sign with a "6" in the center and "PS" underneath. Any help? I live in Atlanta, GA.
-cdolfin

Answers:

Recycling

In my city, Publix grocery stores recycle Styrofoam. (09/08/2002)

By chunkychow

Recycling

You can use the Styrofoam cups for starting seedlings for gardens, planters, or flowerpots. You could also start the seedlings to sell at yard sales or to give as cheap gifts, if you have houseplants. I've bought small plants like that at rummage sales. Someone had a plant that was getting too large for her apartment, they said. This was her donation for the church rummage sale. What a neat idea, I thought! (01/22/2003)

By badwater

Recycling Styrofoam Coffee Cups

On Oprah last week, they talked about this very thing. They suggested purchasing an insulated coffee thermos and bringing it to Starbucks or wherever you buy your coffee. Oftentimes, they said they will give customers a discount for using their own thermos! (04/28/2007)

By Karen

Recycling Styrofoam Coffee Cups

You might also find my article at WikiHow.com useful. Search it for "recycle Styrofoam". It's something we can all do at home, too. (05/10/2007)

By John

Recycling Styrofoam Coffee Cups

If you have any "bean bag" chairs or dog beds that have gone flat; a peek inside will show you that most are filled with Styrofoam bits.

Unzip the chair (carefully, this stuff will fly all over) and top the chair off with packing peanuts, small chunks of solid Styrofoam or cleaned and shredded cups. Nice and cushy again. (05/25/2007)

By Foamy

Recycling Styrofoam Coffee Cups

In my area we have The UPS Store. This store will pack and ship items for the public, for a fee of course. They also offer other services which you can read about when you Google "The UPS Store".

Don't confuse them with the UPS location where all the brown trucks congregate and get loaded and unloaded every morning and night!

The UPS Store will accept recycled Styrofoam "peanuts" which they use when packing fragile items. I save all the "peanuts" that come in items shipped to me.

When we occasionally buy an electronic product that has the large Styrofoam "chunks", that are molded to fit around fragile items, I save those too. When I take a TV break I grab some of the larger molded pieces and a paper bag or box and start breaking the Styrofoam into small, peanut sized pieces. (It's actually good therapy/exercise for my arthritic hands!) I just add these small pieces to the regular "peanuts". I keep all these in a large plastic trash can lined with a big garbage bag. When the bag is full I drop it off at The UPS Store. They have always been happy to get them. (06/08/2007)

By Grandma Margie

Recycling Styrofoam Coffee Cups

Hey! I found a place that will recycle clean #6 polystyrene! The below directions are from their website - http://www.epspackaging.org/info.html.

"Expanded polystyrene can be mailed via U.S. Postal Service or other carrier to:


Alliance of Foam Packaging Recyclers
1298 Cronson Boulevard, Suite 201
Crofton, MD 21114 USA

Shipping fees typically range from $1.50-$9.00 depending on the size of the package.

  1. Make sure the expanded polystyrene is clean and free of any plastic film, loose parts or glued-on cardboard.
  2. To increase the amount of expanded polystyrene in each shipping container, it can be broken or cut into smaller pieces so that more foam can fit in individual boxes.
  3. Alliance of Foam Packaging does not accept extruded polystyrene foam including meat trays, cups, egg cartons, or other disposable foodservice items for recycling.
  4. Expanded polystyrene can be identified by the number 6 plastic resin identification code.

Many types of foam plastic are not clearly marked; if you have questions please contact Alliance of Foam Packaging at (410) 451-8340."
(09/20/2007)

By Paleogrants

Recycling Styrofoam Coffee Cups

Yeah. Sonic a restaurant I recently went to uses Styrofoam cups. I won't go there because of it. I can get a hamburger some place else! (01/27/2008)

By David

Recycling Styrofoam Coffee Cups

If you bring your coffee mug into McDonald's, Starbucks, gas stations, etc., they will gladly fill it, thus eliminating the need to recycle the Styrofoam. (02/25/2008)

By Michael

Recycling Styrofoam Coffee Cups

Thanks Grandma Margie for the UPS Store tip. I just called our local UPS store and they do take Styrofoam "peanuts". Yeah! I have bags of them that I am dying to get rid of. Thanks again! (03/05/2008)

By Debb

Recycling Styrofoam Coffee Cups

I found a company in Florida that sells machines that will break down the Styrofoam into poly gel which is salable at $.47-$.79 a lbs. Obviously this isn't for individual use, but I work at a company and I'm hoping to sell them on the idea. Several colleges have started to use them. It's pretty interesting. The company name is International Foam Solutions, Inc. (03/27/2008)

By Kat

Recycling Styrofoam Coffee Cups

I love the ideas here! Our school is recycling and the new year is about to begin so we will be receiving new supplies with lots of peanuts! And we do gardening, so I can't wait to use the tiny pieces in the pots and take the rest to the UPS Store. (07/15/2008)

By Nellie

Recycling Styrofoam Coffee Cups

I think that is a good good question. For one thing, the "ps" on the bottom of the cup stands for poly-styrene which is a plastic recycle number 6. To find a recycling station in or around your area, you can use the recycle finder on the earth 911 site here:

http://earth911.org/blog/2008/06/09/free-styrofoam-recycling-event-in-salem-oregon/

Other than trying to find a way to melt it down, try re-using it in a flower pot or elsewhere. If it was toxic, that would be great; people would use alternatives!
(07/16/2008)

By emfetz

Recycling Styrofoam

I am so glad to see folks like myself that hate putting things in the land fill. Thanks for the help on finding a place that will recycle Styrofoam packing. I found a local place from the: http://www.epspackaging.org/info.html website.
Thanks for the ideas and help with this issue. (08/19/2008)

By Diane

Recycling Styrofoam Coffee Cups

No one will take them, they are considered contaminated with food waste, just like take out boxes from restaurants. I don't know where you live and it could be different, but I think its hopeless for Styrofoam used for food products. (10/02/2008)

By Aaron

Recycling Styrofoam Coffee Cups

DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT MELT or throw the Styrofoam into a fire because the chemicals will get released into our air! Just break it up.

And BTW, to Microwave is also Heat. It is the same thing. (11/03/2008)

By Karen from KCMO

Recycling Styrofoam Coffee Cups

http://earth911.com/
At this site you can type in where you live and what you want to recycle and it will tell you the nearest place to recycle it is! (01/28/2009)

By Michael A.

Recycling Styrofoam Coffee Cups

I lived in the Atlanta area for a while and found that Publix had a collection bin for Styrofoam meat trays. It was located right outside the front entrance with the plastic bag bin and paper bag bins. Hope that helps. (02/20/2009)

By Recycle Freak

Recycling Styrofoam Coffee Cups

Think about this folks. Styrofoam is a petroleum product. It can be dissolved with other petroleum products like gasoline, motor oil, etc. then mixed in with your waste oils and sent to recycling. (02/23/2009)

By Crocket

Recycling Styrofoam Coffee Cups

Hey there Atlanta GA. Still looking for a place to drop off your #6 Styrofoam cups? Don't know if it is near you or not, but there is a Dart drop-off in Lithonia, GA. In other states there are drop-off programs at Dart in Leola, PA; Mason, MI; Plant City, FL; Corona and Lodi, CA. For more foam recycling locations go to www.earth911.com and search for "Styrofoam" (10/10/2009)

By BIH

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April 24, 20090 found this helpful

I am in the Atlanta Metro area, and looking for someplace to recycle Styrofoam packing material.

WilliamY

Answers:

Recycling Styrofoam Packing

Check out the below link

http://www.epspackaging.org/info.html
(07/14/2004)

By Christine

Recycling Styrofoam Packing

Try places like Mail Boxes, Etc., (if you have those in your area). Also, foam peanuts are great for using in the bottom of large flower pots. It helps with the drainage, reduces the amount of dirt you need, and makes the pot lighter for moving. Maybe you could interest a neighbor or garden club if you don't have any luck with the mailing stores. (07/15/2004)

By Ann

Recycling Styrofoam Packing

http://www.loosefillpackaging.com/ (06/02/2006)

By Nathan

Recycling Styrofoam Packing

You can take it to a UPS store. They reuse it. (09/14/2007)

By Erin

Recycling Styrofoam Packing

Look to local hobby and craft stores. A buddy of mine told me about that. Often time hobbyists and crafters will use Styrofoam in making their crafts (model building, wreathes, flower arrangements). Sometimes these stores will take your unwanted Styrofoam and put it in a "grab-bag" for people to take who need it.

Moving companies, food stores, electronic stores, mail rooms, and industrial areas gladly take it too, for packaging. Finally, for very large, high quality sheets of Styrofoam you may be able to sell it on e-bay to the same people. I hope this was helpful. (11/24/2007)

Recycling Styrofoam Packing

Please see www.recycletechno.com. (02/25/2008)

By John

Recycling Styrofoam Packing

Atlanta, Thats an easy one. Check out these people and I think they can help you out.

PSI \ Wheaton Facility:
(404) 346-0696
5800 Wheaton Dr, S.W.
Atlanta, GA. 30336; USA (06/17/2008)

By Mark Wood

Recycling Styrofoam Packing

I'd also go to craigslist and post in the "for sale" and "free" section that you have packing peanuts you want to get rid of or vice versa, that you are looking for free peanuts. (09/28/2008)

By Susanne

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