Where to recycle styrofoam in Seattle? (9 reuses of styrofoam) 

This article will explain where styrofoam can be recycled in Seattle. Other covered aspects would include: 

  • Where to recycle styrofoam in Seattle?
  • Can styrofoam be recycled?
  • What are the benefits of recycling styrofoam?
  • What are other disposal methods of styrofoam?
  • Is styrofoam biodegradable?
  • Can styrofoam be composted?
  • FAQs

Where to recycle styrofoam in Seattle?

It is possible to recycle styrofoam in Seattle, you may either contact Seattle Public Utilities (either via phone or online) to schedule a collection. 

Also, there are certain drop-off locations for the recycling of styrofoam in Seattle such as Seattle lighting stores.

There are many applications of recycling styrofoams such as decreased use of raw materials and decreased energy consumption.

Styrofoam is a non-biodegradable plastic which may require up to a thousand years to degrade while also causing environmental problems such as global warming and ozone depletion. 

Other than recycling, you may also reuse styrofoam in many creative ways such as a replacement of packing peanuts. 

Can styrofoam be recycled?

Before a stance can be built on the recycling aspect of styrofoam, it is important to know whether styrofoam can be recycled or not. 

This is because not all consumer materials can be recycled. There are certain consumer materials that may do more harm than good if they are recycled. 

One good example of such material is hazardous waste. Hazardous waste such as waste from hospitals can not be recycled due to multiple reasons. 

One is that such waste will put all the workers working in the facilitation centre at risk of being infected with possible contamination. 

Another reason would be that if hazardous material is recycled, there is a chance that the recycling facility may be damaged or exposed to any harmful pathogen. 

The answer to the main question is that styrofoam can be recycled. However, there are a very limited number of facilities that accept the recycling of styrofoam. The main reasons behind this are: 

  • Styrofoam is mostly air
  • It is rather difficult to recycle styrofoam and also time-consuming
  • Recycling styrofoam delivers less remuneration as compared to other products 

Other materials that can not be recycled include:

  • Garbage 
  • Food waste
  • Plastic wrap
  • Ceramics
  • Kitchenware
  • Packing peanuts 
  • Mirrors 
  • Food tainted items 

Where can styrofoam be recycled in Seattle?

Although styrofoam is hesitantly accepted by recycling centres, it is possible to recycle styrofoam in Seattle. 

This happened after April 2019. To recycle styrofoam in Seattle, you may either contact Seattle Public Utilities (either via phone or online) to schedule a collection. 

Also, there are certain drop-off locations for the recycling of styrofoam in Seattle. One is Seattle lighting stores. However, you need to ensure that your styrofoam is cleaned, not contaminated in any way and packed in white or transparent bags. 

What are the benefits of recycling styrofoam?

One important question that many people ask these days is what is the need for recycling? Why is it necessary to drive all the way to recycling centres and burn all the gas?

This section will cover the various advantages and applications that occur due to the recycling of materials such as styrofoam. 

The recycling of materials such as styrofoam offers a lot of environmental and economical benefits to the people and the planet. 

Decreased use of raw materials 

The primary benefit that must be mentioned is the fact that when a material is recycled, the pressure on the raw materials is reduced. This is because when styrofoam is recycled, it is not made from raw materials. 

This is a big factor in the case of limited, non-renewable resources because in this case, the source materials are already very limited. This is the case for styrofoam because it is a petroleum-based product. What this means is that styrofoam is made from fossil fuels. 

Fossil fuels, as we know, are a very limited, non-renewable resource which is being depleted at a very fast rate. By recycling styrofoam, the pressure on the source of styrofoam may be reduced. 

Less energy consumption 

Another benefit that is ensured by the recycling of styrofoam is the fact that there is a decreased amount of energy used in the recycling of styrofoam as compared to the production of styrofoam from scratch. 

This is mainly because when styrofoam is recycled, it is not made from scratch. Rather it is recycled from already made styrofoam and therefore, there is a lesser consumption of energy. 

Another factor why this is important is because most of the production facilities make use of non-renewable resources. The consumption of non-renewable sources of energy such as gas or electricity leads to the release of harmful gases in the atmosphere. These gases include carbon dioxide, methane, carbon monoxide, and sulphur dioxide. 

These gases are termed greenhouse gases and are responsible for many environmental anomalies such as the greenhouse effect, global warming, unprecedented weather patterns, loss of life, and destruction of habitats. 

Better economic prospects 

Another benefit of recycling styrofoam is that it leads to better economic prospects. Not only is there a decreased need for buying raw materials but also there is the generation of employment opportunities as well. 

When products and materials are recycled, their negative effects are either delayed or deterred. This also leads to better economic prospects because waste eventually leads to a loss of substantiality and loss of economy. 

What are other disposal methods for styrofoam?

Styrofoam is a consumer product that is made from styrene. Styrene is made from the derivatives of fossil fuels. 

Like any other product, styrofoam also needs to be disposed of. We have discussed one of the methods that are available for the disposal of styrofoam. 

However, since it also has been established that there are very few recycling centres that accept styrofoam to be recycled; it is also incumbent to rummage through other safe disposal options for styrofoam. 

However, it may be mentioned that recycling is regarded as one of the safest and the best solutions to deal with non-biodegradable waste. 

Careful disposal of styrofoam

The idea is not to just throw away styrofoam. There must be certain conditions that have to be fulfilled before styrofoam is thrown away. 

This included the right disposal methods. There are usually three types of bins. These are green, blue and red coloured. The red-coloured bin is used for hazardous materials such as hospital waste. 

The blue-coloured bin is used for biodegradable materials such as paper products or natural fibres. Green-coloured bins use recyclable material. If you are aware that styrofoam is recycled in your region then it is essential to dispose of styrofoam in green-coloured bins. 

Also, you need to ensure if there is any useful product or material attached to your styrofoam substance which can be removed and saved for later use. Awareness from your end is the most sought aspect that is out there in the realm of sustainability. 

Reusing of styrofoam (9 reuses of styrofoam) 

It is also claimed that it is not mandatory that styrofoam has to be recycled or thrown away. It can also be reused in many creative ways. This is a preferred option for disposal and even recycling. 

When a product is reused, there is absolutely no energy used. Furthermore, the pressure on waste disposal systems is also lessened. 

This complies with the 3R approach which includes reducing, reusing, and recycling. As it can be seen, recycling is the last preferred option among the other two which are reduction of styrofoam use and reusing styrofoam. 

Some of the creative ways in which styrofoam may be reused include:

  • Styrofoam can be used as packaging material 
  • Styrofoam can replace the use of packing peanuts
  • Styrofoam can be used to stuff toys, pillows 
  • Styrofoam can be used as pot fillers
  • Styrofoam can be used as a seedling starter
  • Styrofoam can be used for arts and crafts
  • Styrofoam can be used to create an artistic or aesthetic sense 
  • Styrofoam can be used as a drying board
  • Styrofoam can be used as an art base 

Is styrofoam biodegradable?

One very important and related aspect of the recycling of styrofoam is the quest whether styrofoam is biodegradable or not. 

Styrofoam is made from polystyrene. It is a product of fossil fuel derivatives. Therefore, styrofoam is not biodegradable. 

It may be mentioned that styrofoam may require about five hundred to a thousand years to degrade. The problem is not just with the degradation, there are various other environmental anomalies that are linked with styrofoam waste. These include: 

  • Pressure on waste management systems
  • Damage to aquatic life
  • Damage to life on land
  • Depletion of the ozone layer
  • Health risks such as cancer and hormone disruption 

Can styrofoam be composted?

Styrofoam can not be composted because it does not contain organic content as such. Composting is defined as a process of converting waste material into compost. 

A compost is explained as dead organic matter. There are a number of applications that can be anchored with compost. 

Compost is not marked with high organic content. Therefore, it can be used as a natural fertiliser to improve soil quality and fertility. 

Compost is also known to improve and increase the water retention capacity of the soil which ultimately leads to water conservation.

The use of compost is important because it replaced synthetic fertilisers. There are a number of annihilative effects and implications of synthetic fertilisers. These include:

  • Soil pollution
  • Water pollution
  • Effect on aquatic life
  • Disturbance in ecosystems
  • Bioaccumulation
  • Medical complications

Conclusion 

It is concluded that it is possible to recycle styrofoam in Seattle, you may either contact Seattle Public Utilities (either via phone or online) to schedule a collection. 

Also, there are certain drop-off locations for the recycling of styrofoam in Seattle such as Seattle lighting stores.

There are many applications of recycling styrofoams such as decreased use of raw materials and decreased energy consumption.

Styrofoam is a non-biodegradable plastic which may require up to a thousand years to degrade while also causing environmental problems such as global warming and ozone depletion. 

Other than recycling, you may also reuse styrofoam in many creative ways such as a replacement of packing peanuts. 

Frequently Asked Questions: Where to recycle styrofoam in Seattle?

Is styrofoam non-biodegradable?

Yes, Styrofoam is a non-biodegradable plastic which may require up to a thousand years to degrade while also causing environmental problems such as global warming and ozone depletion. 

Can styrofoam be reused?

Yes, styrofoam may be reused in a number of ways such as arts and crafts or organisational uses. 

References

Hugh. (March 4, 2017). 30 Ways to Reuse Styrofoam. Retrieved from: https://get-green-now.com/reuse-styrofoam/

The Vanella Group. (April 23, 2022). All you need to know about Styrofoam Recycling. Retrieved from: https://www.vanellagroupmn.com/all-you-need-to-know-about-styrofoam-recycling

Pela. (May 10, 2022). Is Styrofoam recyclable? Retrieved from: https://pela.earth/blogs/news/is-styrofoam-recyclable

Samantha, Allen. (March 5, 2021). What it takes to recycle foam blocks in Seattle. Retrieved from: https://crosscut.com/opinion/2021/03/what-it-takes-recycle-foam-blocks-seattle

What was missing from this post which could have made it better?

Leave a Comment