How To Recycle Styrofoam In Seattle

Do you have styrofoam peanuts or large blocks of styrofoam that you’d like to recycle? I order a lot of computer products online and unbox a lot of new computers that clients have bought. For many years, I’ve dropped off styrofoam peanuts at my neighborhood shipping company, Sip and Ship in Ballard. Many neighborhoods have private shipping stores or a FedexOffice store that I would assume would be happy to receive this material. It’s been tough to find options for recycling large blocks of styrofoam, but I’ve found some.

Here’s a list of the options of which I’m aware for recycling styrofoam peanuts or blocks.

The Seattle Public Utilities web site indicates that peanuts and blocks can go in the garbage but not your recycling bin. Furthermore they point out that styrofoam can be recycled at Styro Recycle  which is in Kent. On a side note, I also learned that bubble wrap can go in your recycle cart. Bundle it together in a plastic grocery bag and place it in your cart. Bubble envelopes cannot be recycled and must go in the garbage. Again, I’ve been able to donate some of my bubble envelopes to my local shipping company.

Styro Recycle LLC accepts donations from the public. If your business accumulates lots of styrofoam, they offer regularly scheduled or on-demand pickup. This company’s web site also points out that Styrofoam® is the trademarked name for a product. The more generic name is Expanded Polystyrene (EPS). I stand corrected. Since I assume most people aren’t familiar with the term expanded polystyrene, I’m not going to put that term in the title of this Tech Tip.

In 2015 a client told me that the Clearance Outlet of Seattle Lighting on Hanford St accepts block styrofoam. [Update Dec 2018 – information has been confirmed and was still true as of December 2018, by a reader. This reader reports that nothing special needs to be done to prepare the styrofoam except it should be clean and not covered in tape.] [Update Feb 2021 – Seattle Lighting is no longer accepting styrofoam until further notice.]

The City of Kirkland offers styrofoam collection events, typically each month.

Here’s a link to Where Seattle Recycles which currently lists Styro Recycle and Seattle Lighting.

Please let me know if you know of any other options for recycling styrofoam, er, expanded polystrene.

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