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Styrofoam Collection Days

Back by popular demand! Save your white, #6 Styrofoam packaging from Christmas, medications, wine, steak and electronic shipments. Once again, Master Gardeners are sponsoring a community service Styrofoam collection and recycling event. The “S.O.S. – Save Our Styrofoam from the Landfill” drop-off will be held Saturday, January 14 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday, January 15 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The drop-off will be held on Microtronics Way just off Camage Avenue in the Tuolumne Road industrial park. Take Tuolumne Road to Nugget Boulevard or Standard Road and follow the signs. Waste Management (Cal Sierra Division) is providing the large enclosed containers into which the Styrofoam will be packed. All you have to do is load the material in your car or truck, drive on by, and Master Gardeners will help you unload.
How can you participate?

  • Look for the #6 in the recyclable triangle label on the bottom of the material.
  • Donate only clean, white, packaging foam and rigid, white, foam insulation.
  • PLEASE remove all tape, labels, stickers, paint, cardboard and any other non-polystyrene materials
  • Please note: we cannot accept colored Styrofoam or food containers
  • We cannot accept bubble wrap or packing peanuts

Many holiday gifts-think electronics and wine-come packed in the stuff. Packaging foam is typically used to pack computers, TVs, appliances, furniture, wine, steaks, and medications. Foam insulation is typically used around building foundations and to insulate pipes.

Some packaging materials are now made from other kinds of foam. Only #6 expanded polystyrene foam can be reprocessed. For the same reason, packing peanuts and other kinds of packaging materials, like bubble wrap, cannot be collected during the Styrofoam recycling event. Pac N Copy, in the Junction Shopping Center, and some other shipping companies will accept your packing peanuts and some other packaging materials.
Please don’t toss this material into the trash – it’s a disposal nightmare. It doesn’t weigh very much, so doesn’t count much toward garbage haulers’ diversion numbers, the report to the California Integrated Waste Management Board of how much tonnage has been diverted from landfills. Unfortunately, even though lightweight, Styrofoam is bulky and takes up lots of space in the landfill.

Once collected, the foam will be compacted, baled and transported for recycling. For more information, contact the Tuolumne County UC Cooperative Extension office at 533-5695, the Tuolumne County Master Gardener office at 754-6473. For gardening questions, call the Master Gardener hotline at 533-5912 or email them at mgtuolumne@ucdavis.edu