EPPC began the Styrofoam Recycling project in the Fall of 2021 to reduce styrofoam waste from laboratories and residence halls on campus. Styrofoam is challenging to recycle and takes longer than plastic bottles to decompose in landfills. It also releases microplastics that can enter waterways, harming animals. Our goal is to provide resources to students and faculty that outline ways to reduce foam waste.
What is the Styrofoam Recycling team working on?
Actions to Reduce Foam Waste
- Participate in foam take-back programs
- Take-back programs are where laboratory suppliers take back qualifying foam waste used to ship products
- Contact your supplier if you are unsure if they take back foam waste
- Email the Scientific Store at firstname.lastname@example.org and ask if they will pick up clean foam packaging from your designated mailroom/mail zone. They also can be contacted at (530) 752-7375. Provide your lab mail zone and get permission from the mail zone area administrator to leave the coolers. Place a note on the foam packaging indicating the Scientific Store can take it for reuse.
- Separate cardboard from foam and recycle each accordingly; if the foam is clean and intact, it can be picked up by the Scientific Store.
- Request that suppliers send laboratory supplies in non-foam packaging. Even if this isn’t possible at the time, it will inform suppliers that your lab is interested in more sustainable packaging.
- Research facilities that recycle foam.