When the city of San Diego announced Nov. 15 that it is accepting once-forbidden plastics in blue bins — stuff like yogurt cups and berry containers — it also noted a few things that still shouldn’t be blue-binned.
Two readers wondered about still-forbidden bits of waste: Plastic bags and Styrofoam.
I put their questions to Ken Prue, San Diego’s recycling program manager.
Why isn’t Styrofoam recyclable?
There isn’t much (if any) of a recycling market for the material.
Styrofoam peanuts and pieces of Styrofoam blocks would be very messy to collect and try to sort at the processing facilities. It would get mixed up with and contaminate other recyclable materials being separated. Many mail houses such as UPS, Mailboxes Etc. and FedEx/Kinkos will take them for reuse. Always call to confirm their current policy. Also, call the Peanut Hotline at 800.828.2214 for additional businesses that take packing peanuts. There is a local business, Cactus Recycling, that accepts Styrofoam blocks from businesses that generate large quantities.