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Are Styrofoam Cups, Plates, and Bowls Recyclable?

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  • Are Styrofoam Cups, Plates, and Bowls Recyclable?

Are Styrofoam cups, plates, and bowls recyclable? Not in this market, so please place Styrofoam items in the trash cart.

Summertime barbecues and entertaining result in an increased use of expanded polystyrene products commonly known as Styrofoam cups, plates, and bowls. 

Count Waste and Recycling, Clifton Park, New York, reminds customers that Styrofoam products are not recyclable in this market and placing them in the recycling bin creates more work and risk for County Waste recycling center employees.

While single stream recycling is convenient, efficient, and hassle free for our residential customers, items that can be recycled are limited to:

  • Items that have a recycling market or buyer in the region; and,
  • Items that, when commingled, can be sorted by the recycling equipment.

Items that can’t be recycled either don’t have a buyer, are too small for the equipment to properly sort, or get tangled in the machinery and create a hazard for employees. The bottom line, we ask our residential and commercial customers to review our allowable recyclables to ensure the continuation of a safe and efficient recycling program. Our recycling information can be found here.

Because there is no local recycling market for single use Styrofoam products, County Waste and Recycling encourages customers to reduce their use by purchasing similar items made of paper which, while not recyclable, breaks down much faster in the landfill.

Some common items that can be purchased as paper products include:

  • Egg cartons
  • Drink cups
  • Bowls
  • Plates

The word “Styrofoam” is a Dow Chemical trademark name and has become the household word for the convenient and affordable single-use plates, cups and other items that make cleanup a snap. But this year, we remind our recycling customers that paper products would be an environmentally-friendly alternative to Styrofoam and, if you do have Styrofoam items, please don’t place it in the single-stream recycling container, put it in the garbage at your curbside.

Other Styrofoam items you may also have in your home include:

  • Packing pellets
  • Trays found under packaged meat products
  • Old coolers
  • Food to go containers

County Waste and Recycling, Clifton Park, NY, is the largest waste collection and single stream recycling company in the Capital Region of New York, serving as a greater Albany, Schenectady, Troy, Saratoga and Clifton Park garbage company. With operations spanning from as far south as Harriman on up north to Ticonderoga, our friendly garbage and recycling drivers are a familiar sight throughout Eastern New York.

If you have questions regarding any of our waste and recycling services contact us online or call 518-877-7007.

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