Is Styrofoam Recyclable? [Guide to Safe Styrofoam Recycling]

is styrofoam recyclable

Do you know that styrofoam is one of the most widely used materials in the world? It is found everywhere from packaging to coffee cups, but is it really recyclable?

The answer is yes — and this guide will provide a complete overview of safe styrofoam recycling. We’ll discuss what type of EPS (Expanded Polystyrene) can be recycled and how it is processed, as well as answer some frequently asked questions about this process. So if you’re looking for an effective way to help reduce waste for your company, read on!

What is EPS?

EPS is a type of plastic foam composed of polystyrene beads that is typically used in packaging, insulation, and other applications. It is lightweight, durable, and resistant to moisture, making it an ideal material for many products. However, despite its versatility and usefulness, EPS is not biodegradable or easy to recycle. This is why it is important to understand how this material can be properly recycled.

How is EPS Recycled?

Unfortunately, while EPS is highly recyclable, it’s difficult to do so at the consumer level. To recycle EPS effectively, one must ship their materials to a facility where they can compress them into manageable pieces before undertaking further recycling processes and reusing them.

Generated Materials Recovery (GMR) is one such provider that is doing an incredible job of turning EPS into reusable products. We have developed a closed-loop system that is able to process and repurpose the material, allowing for the sustainable production of new items.

The entire recycling journey begins with the collection and sorting of the materials, followed by their breakdown into small pieces that can be compressed and melted. This requires specialized machinery that is able to melt down the material and extrude it into pellets or sheets. These can then be reused in a variety of applications, such as plastic containers, insulation, construction materials, and more.

How Can I Have Styrofoam Recycled?

The first step is to contact your local waste management provider and ask about their procedures for accepting EPS materials. In most cases, you will be able to drop off the material at a designated facility, or they may even pick it up from your location as GMR does.

Once the material is received, it will then be transported to an approved recycling facility where it can be properly processed and recycled.

Recycling Styrofoam FAQs

Here are some of the frequently asked questions about styrofoam recycling that we get asked:

What is the difference between EPS and Styrofoam? 

EPS is the technical term for expanded polystyrene, while styrofoam is a brand name of EPS. Although both materials are recyclable, it is important to note that only certain types of EPS can be recycled, such as white EPS foam that is used for packaging or insulation.

Can all EPS products be recycled? 

Not all types of expanded polystyrene can be recycled. For example, many foam coolers and food containers are made from a type of EPS known as isocyanurate and are not recyclable. However, other types of EPS, such as white foam or packing peanuts can be recycled.

Why is EPS difficult to recycle?

The main reason is that EPS is lightweight and breaks apart easily, making it difficult to handle. Additionally, the material is often contaminated with food or other substances, which can also make it more challenging to recycle. This is why it is important to find a reliable recycling provider that is able to handle the material.

How do you dispose of large amounts of polystyrene?

Large amounts of EPS can often be recycled through a materials recovery facility. Generated Materials Recovery is one such provider that is able to process and repurpose the material. Through our closed-loop system, we are able to turn EPS into pellets or sheets that can then be used in a variety of applications, including plastic containers and insulation.

How can I find a recycling facility for EPS foam?

You can contact your local waste management provider to see if they offer a collection and recycling service for EPS foam. Alternatively, you can contact the GMR team to arrange to collect and recycle your EPS foam. This is a cost-effective and environmentally-friendly option that is designed to help you reduce waste and promote sustainability.

GMR handles industrial-grade EPS foam recycling for businesses, municipalities, and other organizations. Our team is equipped to handle large volumes of material, and we offer a range of services to help you recycle more efficiently.

Unlike most companies in our field, we prioritize client service over a single commodity. To us, serving our clients is more important than simply buying and selling one type of product. We are open to any challenge that you can bring to us; we cherish opportunities for creative problem-solving on your behalf.

Contact us today for more information about our EPS foam recycling process and industrial recycling services.


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