What Do You Do With Styrofoam Packaging?

We're embarking on a long overdue attic clean-out which includes some remnant boxes with nothing but lots of big, chunky pieces of styrofoam. As we all head into the gift giving season there will be a huge societal surge in styrofoam waste. It feels awful to just throw this stuff into the trash. We did a little poking around to see if the city of Boston accepts styrofoam for recycling..

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Styrofoam is polystyrene (#6) and while #6 is listed on the City of Boston's acceptable recyclables, a call to the the Boston recycling department revealed that they do not accept styrofoam packaging for recycling. Uggg.

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It is easy to recycle the styrofoam packaging peanuts. Just bring them to a local shipping store (e.g. UPS, Mailboxes Etc.) and they will reuse them. And when it comes to the big styrofoam packaging chunks, clearly the smartest thing to do is to buy appliances, electronics, and computers secondhand so that you don't have to deal with packaging. But when you do buy things new, what do YOU do with the big packaging chunks? Have you figured out alternative uses for this packaging (e.g. crafting) or have you found an esoteric recycling option?

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Image 1: Travis Brown's flickr photostream


Image 2: Amit Gupta's flickr photostream


Image 3: markopolo8309's flickr photostream


Image 4: magnusw's flickr photostream

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