How can I recycle this styrofoam cup?

September 8, 2007

I’ve been wandering how to recycle a few items lately. Styrofoam is one of those items that I’m never sure what to do with.

Styrafoam Coffee Cup

Black plastic food containers are another one. If you live in Los Angeles, the Dept. of Public Works can supply tips on what you can recycle and also how to give a new life to things un-wanted.

My green friend Courtney and I discovered a recent LA Public works ad campaign that suggests that it’s now ok to put Styrofoam in your recycling bin. You can even dial “311” from any phone to get the details. If you forgot your own cup and looking for a way to keep caffeine withdrawal to a minimum, the word on the street is to use paper over foam any chance you get, though. (Jump cut to images of cooler pieces and flip flops washing up on pristine white sand beaches in Thailand).

HowCanIRecycleThis.com opens up the discussion to it’s viewers. Tapping in to crowd-sourcing for finding recycling solutions seems like an amazingly elegant answer. This UK site does a great job of helping visitors think of ways to re-purpose certain items. Still don’t know what to do with pesky Styrofoam…

Then I found American Chemistry. While this site green washes certain ugly chemical products, it does offer valuable local resources for responsibly handling those plastics I’ve been wandering about.

Tree Hugger does it again in this article about dealing with foam recycling. Grinning Planet also offers foam cup facts. Cooking in foam can be toxic. Who knew?

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4 Responses to “How can I recycle this styrofoam cup?”

  1. Green Friend Courtney Says:

    My addiction to restaurant leftovers makes me feel guilty for just this reason. Maybe we should all consider bringing our own tupperware, as well?

  2. Taylor Moon Says:

    I’ve been wondering how to do this! Its a shame how it never biodegrades. I’m actually doing a science project on this subject. Another handy way to break them dowm is soak it in an acetone product(like nail polish remover)! Hah, its impractical, but effective if you don’t mind the residue.

    Thanks for the help!
    Taylor,14,IN

  3. Peter Says:

    I found out that I can place a cup upside-down on a PVC pipe and cut the bottom off the cup. I then pull down the part till I have filled the pipe up. Now you got a pipe that looks like the trunk of tree and is insulated! You can use the smaller cup bottom on another pipe leaving just the round bottoms by simply cutting off the bottom end off to make a disk of styrofoam. Now you got two PVC pipes One 2 inch and one 1 1/2 inch insulated pipe!
    Now the flat disks can be given a spray of glue and compressed into a “Cheap sheet”. The dust can be placed into the press and you got nothing left!
    It is not practical in all places, and you need to rinse cups and learn to recycle cups is also to pass them under water and stack them with the used ones. Places could introduce recycling boxes where people rinse and stack cups for pick up.
    It is artistic as well and will make a heck of a fake palm tree trunk is painted right! Great to let hot air out of the greenhouse to the house and a lot of other uses if you put your mind to it! Take cardboard tubes and do the same for art projects that gets rid of a lot of cups, and still has function in the end!

  4. Nolan Says:

    yeah, that is soo fucking annoying! i just started recycling too & i have no idea what to do with styrofoam cups, they have the recyclable sign on the bottom yet theres nowhere to take them. fucked uppp.


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