Is Styrofoam Recyclable? Yes… Into Bitchin’ Surfboards [Video]

styrofoam on the beach

Tomorrow is America Recycles Day, and given our new focus on waste issues,Β we should probably take note. While we do want to encourage you to make as much use as possible of that blue bin, you’ve no doubt got materials that your local recycling company won’t take. In many places, polystyrene foam (aka Styrofoam) is one of those materials. So, is Styrofoam recyclable anywhere… or it just a material destined to take up space in landfills?

Polystyrene can be recycled, but the economics often don’t work for recycling companies… so it ends up getting tossed. Sustainable Surf hated seeing all of that material (which is often used to form surfboard blanks) go to waste, so the non-profit teamed up with a number of other organization and companies to create Waste to Waves, a recycling programΒ that turns used polystyrene foam into surfboard blanks that, apparently, surfers just love. Take a look at their story:

The Waste to Waves Story from Sustainable Surf on Vimeo.

At this point, the efforts to collect Styrofoam for recycling are limited to California – surf shops around the state host bins for disposing of that broken cooler, or the protective foam that came with a package delivery. For America Recycles Day, the city of Malibu is getting in on the act – they’ll let you drop off polystyrene foam at City Hall through tomorrow.

I’d say something like “sweet boards,” but, truthfully, I know nothing about surfing… if you do, let us know what you think of these surfboards (especially if you’ve used one). If you’ve got other stories about innovative uses of difficult-to-recycle materials like Styrofoam, don’t hold back – we’re celebrating recycling here! Finally, if you’ve got questions about recycling, don’t forget to drop them into the comments on this post for next week’s Twitter chat with our friends from Waste Management and fellow green blogger Derek Markham.

Featured image credit: Screen capture from “The Waste to Waves Story” video

  1. Suzanne

    I don’t surf, but would like to learn how. However this post is regarding recycling, I would like to think I am an avid recycler, and I someday want a job where I’m either informing people about recycling or coming up with innovative ideas such as this. If you need any assistance on the east coast, I’m your gal.

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