My school uses a lot of styrofoam products during lunch. Is there any current recycling program using styrofoam?

I teach at a private school in Estill, SC where we use a lot of styrofoam during lunch. My principal wants for me and my environmental science class to come up with a recycling program using styrofoam. Is there any such program going on around the United States?



  1. 0 Votes

    Yes, there are other schools around the country that have their own recycling program. Look at to see directions on how to start a successful recycling program.

    You could also start your own recycling program and send your styrofoam to a recycling drop off point. You can look up local recycling centers at

  2. 0 Votes

    While it is possible to recycle styrofoam, I think your concern is the perfect opportunity to do something even more positive for your school.  It might be a good idea to get parents and teachers involved and create a petition to switch your school from styrofoam to alternative, more eco-friendly containers.  A lot of companies would give a very large discount to your school, hoping to encourage students to adopt more environmentally friendly practices.  The link below is a very popular company that provides biodegradable alternatives.  

  3. 0 Votes

    I support your goal of recycling the styrofoam and making your school more eco-friendly.  Unfortunately there are no listings on for your city to collect styrofoam, so this might be a bit of a challenge to find a center that accepts it. Many companies do not accept styrofoam because there is little money in recycling it, but it still makes up a large portion of our trash per year (as many as 25 billion different pieces of styrofoam are dumped per day in the US).

     If you do try to get a compostable alternative to styrofoam, another great option, you could also consider starting a composting program.  I am guessing you are currently using styrofoam lunch trays since many schools switched to this to save water and time or washing the plastic ones.  If you chose a compostable tray, you could set up bins in the lunch room which would take items like food scraps, napkins and student’s paper lunch bags.  It would be a great way to reduce the trash, and the school’s footprint. 

  4. 0 Votes

    I’d definitely concur with Jen and Greenbean that you have a bigger opportunity to move away from styrofoam here and switch over to compostables.

    Compostables have actually come down in price a lot recently and manufactueres definitely offer discounts to schools and other folks that purchase in high volume.

    I know World Centric for instance sells their 5 compartment trays at cost & offers all K-12 schools a 25% off discount on their products.

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