Recyclin’ Around the Christmas Tree

With foam packaging around Christmas gifts and trash bags filling up with wrapping paper, the holidays are the perfect time to talk about recycling.  Specifically, it is important to know what can and cannot be recycled in your curbside bins.  It varies by location, but many places in California now offer curbside foam recycling, so make sure to check before you throw all that material away!

Polystyrene (PS) foam is often mistakenly referred to as Styrofoam, which is a registered trademark of Dow Chemical Company.  However, this PS foam is commonly found in food packaging, such as takeout containers and disposable cups, as well as in packaging for electronics, such as TVs and computers.  In order to know if the material can be recycled, check for the number inside of the traditional triangular recycling symbol. If it is a 6, you are good to go.

Not only will you be promoting sustainability, but recycling foam can also lead to a boost in the economy, as it creates jobs for both the recyclers and the manufacturers that make use of the repurposed foam.  A company in Corona can use recycled foam to make picture frames and crown molding, but only if everyone joins the movement and recycles their foam.

Some other tips for foam recycling:

  • Check everything! Foam comes in many shapes and sizes, including egg cartons and coffee cups
  • Be sure to rinse your foam before recycling, as leftover food makes it harder to recycle
  • Spread the word to family, friends and neighbors so that everyone knows to recycle foam
  • Recycle year round!  Foam recycling should not only be a holiday tradition – instead, consider making it a New Year’s Resolution to recycle throughout the entire year

Source: Studio City Patch

Foam Recycling