Recycling styrofoam in Massachusetts
Styrofoam (or polystyrene) has only been around for less than a hundred years, but when we throw it away and it goes to the landfill, we’re ensuring its eternal existence because the expanded plastic never breaks down. It also cannot be burned without releasing a toxic ash. In Cambridge, MA, and nearly all other communities in Massachusetts, the “single stream recycling” does NOT include styrofoam. So, even if you add it to the blue bins that go curbside, or put it in a municipal recycling bin, it will still end up in the trash and sit there forever. That’s the bad news. But there’s good news too.
I finally looked into options for recycling here in Massachusetts, and found a company called Refoamit which will take the waste product and turn it into picture frames, car bumpers, plastic brackets, and other products after condensing the plastic into small pellets. For a good list of foam recycling options in New England, check out this site, GoFoam New England.
They hold single one day collection events around Massachusetts, and are open to inquiries if a specific town or community is interested. Their next collection is Saturday, Sept 22nd in Ipswich and Chelmsford. For their full schedule, check out their website which also has a list of what can be recycled and what cannot. They DO take packing peanuts, packing blocks, produce and meat trays, dunkin donuts cups, and styrofoam egg cartons, which is great!
What about your local communities? Are there any ways to recycle styrofoam?