In an effort to reduce the amount of waste going into local landfills, Escondido Disposal Inc. and Waste Management are now permitting people to recycle foam products in the blue bins in North County. Escondido Disposal handles trash and recycling for Escondido, San Marcos, Vista, Poway and Encinitas. Waste Management handles trash and recycling for Solana Beach, Carlsbad, Oceanside and Del Mar.
The foam products that can be placed in the blue recycling bins include foam cups, foam take-out containers, foam meat packaging trays, and foam packaging, sometimes mistakenly referred to as ‘Styrofoam®’, a registered trademark of the Dow Chemical Company. The small Styrofoam ™ packaging “peanuts” are not allowed to be recycled in the blue bins and should be returned to retail shipping outlets so they can be reused.* Recycled foam products can be made into crown molding, picture frames, automotive accessories, flower pots and other industrial materials.
“We’ve been looking to do this for a while, and we finally found a sustainable market,” said Jeff Ritchie, vice president of Escondido Disposal. “We’re always looking for ways to divert more materials away from landfills.” Escondido Disposal is specifically interested in the larger pieces of packaging foam because they are more valuable to industrial recyclers.
Charissa McAfee, the spokeswoman for Waste Management, said the company also began recycling foam products to prevent them from going to the local landfills. Environmental groups agree that foam recycling is a step in the right direction.
There are 45 cities and counties in California that provide curbside recycling for polystyrene foam containers. Several communities in California also have recycling centers that collect foam containers and packaging. Find a foam recycling center near you.
*Styrofoam ® is a registered trademark of the Dow Chemical Company