how do you properly dispose of styrofoam

Styrofoam, also known as expanded polystyrene foam (EPS), is a widely used material in packaging and insulation due to its lightweight and insulating properties. However, it is not a biodegradable material and can cause harm to the environment if not disposed of properly. In this article, we will discuss the different ways to properly dispose of styrofoam.

1. Recycling

Recycling is one of the best ways to dispose of styrofoam. However, it is important to note that not all recycling centers accept styrofoam. Look for a recycling center that specifically accepts styrofoam or EPS foam. Some cities also have curbside recycling programs that accept styrofoam. Check with your local waste management company to see if they offer this service.

When preparing styrofoam for recycling, make sure to remove any tape, labels, or other materials. Styrofoam can be recycled by melting it down and reforming it into new products. This process requires a lot of energy and resources, so it is important to recycle styrofoam whenever possible.

2. Reusing

Another way to dispose of styrofoam is to reuse it. Styrofoam can be used for insulation, as packing material, or as a base for crafts. If you receive a package with styrofoam, consider keeping it for future use instead of throwing it away. If you have a large amount of styrofoam, consider donating it to a local school or community center that may have a use for it.

3. Landfill

If you cannot recycle or reuse your styrofoam, the last resort is to dispose of it in a landfill. However, this should be avoided whenever possible as styrofoam takes a long time to break down and can release harmful chemicals into the environment. If you must dispose of styrofoam in a landfill, make sure to place it in a sealed plastic bag to prevent it from breaking apart and causing litter.

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4. Styrofoam Densifier

A styrofoam densifier is a machine that compresses styrofoam into a smaller, more manageable size. This machine can be used to reduce the volume of styrofoam before it is disposed of in a landfill or to make it easier to transport for recycling. Some recycling centers and waste management companies have styrofoam densifiers available for public use.


Properly disposing of styrofoam is important for the environment. Recycling and reusing are the best ways to dispose of styrofoam. If you cannot recycle or reuse styrofoam, it should be disposed of in a landfill as a last resort. Consider using a styrofoam densifier to reduce the volume of styrofoam before disposal. By following these simple steps, we can all do our part to protect the environment.