How to Dispose of Styrofoam?

Do you have a pile of Styrofoam taking up space in your home or office? You’re not alone. Styrofoam, also known as expanded polystyrene (EPS), is a popular material used for packaging and food containers due to its lightweight and insulating properties. However, it’s also one of the most difficult materials to dispose of properly. In fact, every year millions of tons of Styrofoam end up in landfills, where they take hundreds of years to decompose! But don’t worry – there are ways to recycle or repurpose this troublesome material! Keep reading to learn how to dispose of Styrofoam while protecting our planet from further damage.

Is Styrofoam biodegradable? 

Styrofoam is a type of plastic that doesn’t break down easily, making it one of the most problematic materials for waste management. According to Washington University, it can take 500 years for Styrofoam to decompose! This means that the Styrofoam cups and containers we use on a daily basis will be around long after we’re gone.

Unfortunately, recycling Styrofoam isn’t as easy as tossing it in your curbside bin. Most municipal recycling programs don’t accept this material because it’s bulky and difficult to transport. Instead, many communities have set up special collection events or drop-off locations specifically designed for Styrofoam.

Is Styrofoam biodegradable

But even if you do recycle your Styrofoam properly, there’s no guarantee that it won’t end up in a landfill eventually. That’s why reducing our consumption of single-use plastics like Styrofoam is so important – by using alternative materials whenever possible, we can help reduce the amount of waste going into landfills and prevent environmental impacts that can save our future generations to live on a healthy planet.

Is Styrofoam recyclable waste? 

Styrofoam is infamous for taking hundreds of years to decompose, but did you know that it can be recycled? While not all recycling facilities accept Styrofoam, some communities have special programs or drop-off locations specifically for this type of waste.

Once collected, the Styrofoam is typically compressed into blocks and sent to a specialized facility where it can be turned into new products such as pens, picture frames, and even egg cartons. This process helps reduce the amount of waste in landfills and gives a second life to what was once considered garbage.

Is Styrofoam a hazardous waste? 

Styrofoam is not only non-biodegradable and difficult to recycle, but it also poses a significant threat to the environment as hazardous waste. It is the fifth largest component of hazardous waste and can contribute to the breaking down of the ozone layer if broken or combusted.

Is Styrofoam a hazardous waste


The chemicals in Styrofoam are harmful not only during production but also when disposed of improperly. When burned, Styrofoam releases toxic chemicals into the air, which can cause respiratory problems for humans and animals alike. These toxins can also contaminate surrounding soil and water sources.

As such, it’s essential that we find ways to reduce our use of Styrofoam products altogether. This includes opting for eco-friendly alternatives like paper or biodegradable materials whenever possible.

How to Dispose of Styrofoam?

Check with local shipping stores

One way to dispose of Styrofoam that is often overlooked is by checking with local shipping stores. These businesses frequently handle fragile items and therefore use a lot of packing materials, such as clean Styrofoam peanuts. By donating your clean Styrofoam peanuts to these establishments, you can help them reduce their own waste while getting rid of your own.

Not only does this method prevent the Styrofoam from ending up in a landfill, but it also benefits the shipping store by providing them with free packing materials. In addition, some companies may offer discounts on services or products in exchange for the donation of Styrofoam.

Give new life to Styrofoam food containers

Styrofoam food containers are a common sight in takeout orders. Instead of tossing them out, why not give them a new life? These versatile containers can be used for various purposes around the house.

Before using these containers, it’s important to wash and dry them thoroughly to remove any food residues. Once clean, they can be transformed into creative craft projects for children. Cut off the top of the container and use the bottom portion as a craft corral for your child’s painting or coloring materials. This will help keep messes contained and make cleaning up easier.

Give new life to Styrofoam food containers

If your child is complaining about their shoes being too uncomfortable, Styrofoam containers can also come in handy. Trace your child’s foot onto the lid of a container with a pencil, cut out the shape, and use it as an extra cushion inside their shoe.

Styrofoam drinking cups are another item that often goes to waste after just one use. However, they can be repurposed by using them as seed starters indoors before transferring plants outdoors in springtime.

By giving Styrofoam food containers new life through these creative uses, you’re helping reduce waste while also promoting sustainability at home.

Check with local daycares and elementary schools

If you have a significant amount of Styrofoam trays, cups, containers, or peanuts lying around and are wondering what to do with them, consider donating them to local elementary schools and daycares. Many educational institutions incorporate arts-and-crafts time into their curriculum regularly.

Styrofoam has high artistic potential and can be transformed into holiday ornaments, pencil holders, vases, pictures or cutout crafts by children. Not only does this help reduce waste in landfills, but it also encourages creativity among young minds.

Before dropping off the styrofoam at the school or daycare facility ensure that it is clean and dry as no one wants dirty materials for art projects!

By giving your extra Styrofoam away to schools or daycares nearby, not only will you declutter your home but also support an institution in need of resources while keeping this material out of landfills.

Author Profile

Sam Anderson
Sam Anderson
Certified Junk Clearance Professional at Express Waste Removals.