Is Styrofoam recyclable? The short answer is no. At least not in the recycling we put out on our curb or take to the City's recycling sites. Styrofoam (or polystyrene foam) can include take-away coffee cups, takeaway food containers, meat trays, and shipping packing. It contains a type of plastic called expanded polystyrene.
Why can't it be recycled? This material is made of tiny individual pieces that burst apart when put through the sorting process. Putting Styrofoam into the recycling bin will contaminate the whole bin, so all Styrofoam must go into the landfill bin.
Did you know? Styrofoam takes more than 500 years to break down and it's estimated that 2.3 million tons of styrofoam end up in the landfill every year!
What can you do? The best thing is to avoid styrofoam when possible. There are programs around the US that have special processes that allow for the recycling of expanded polystyrene like Plastilite Corporation in Omaha.
If you do find yourself with Styrofoam that you need to throw out make sure it goes into the garbage.