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Posted Wednesday, January 22nd, 2020

Styrofoam Never Degrades; Wildlife Mistake it for Food

Styrofoam is useful stuff for packing, but it’s about the world’s worst material in terms of disposal.

dumpster full of Styrofoam

Mendham’s Brian Boden helped load a dumpster filled with Styrofoam after a public collection program on Jan. 11.

Since it never degrades, Styrofoam often ends up in waterways and oceans where it pollutes and kills wildlife that may mistake it for food.

Working together to raise awareness and make changes at the local level, the Environmental Commissions of Mendham Borough and Township staged a Styrofoam recycling day at the borough public works department garage on Ironia Road on Saturday, Jan. 11. Public works employee Carolyn Budd oversaw the event.

Borough employee Pete Hafemeister loaded the full dumpster onto a tractor-trailer and drove it to Foampack Industries, a firm in Springfield that accepts used Styrofoam packing material. The material is then reprocessed and turned back into new Styrofoam products.

“This project is an example of the way municipalities can work together to create something that will benefit all of us, including our environment“, said Paula Barber, chair of the Mendham Borough Environmental Commission, part of the new combined Environmental, Open Space and Shade Tree services.

“I’m sure the reason we were so successful with this project was entirely due to all our efforts in getting the word out,” said Richard Cotter, Mendham Township Environmental Commission chair. “We’re planning to do it again next year.”

For more information on Styrofoam recycling, visit RecyclingNJ.