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Getting rid of polystyrene
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Stacey



Joined: 18 Jul 2005
Posts: 8380
Location: Kernow
PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 05 9:53 am    Post subject: Getting rid of polystyrene  Reply with quote    

We get all the out of date fruit from the local fruit shop every saturday to fed to the pigs. Lately they'e been sending it out in polystyrene boxes about 24in x 24 in. We now have about 30 of these boxes and no clue as to how to dispose of them properly and responsibly. I suspect that the shop is giving them to us so they don't have to deal with them themselves. They've got Cornwall Brocolli Co on the outside of them so we can't even pass them on to someone to be re-used.
What to do?

Jonnyboy



Joined: 29 Oct 2004
Posts: 23924
Location: under some rain.
PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 05 9:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

There are firms that recycle this kind of stuff, have you tried good old yellow pages

Bugs



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 10742

PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 05 9:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

In those quantities could you use them for insulation either for animal housing or to protect stored vegetables outside?

Mrs Fiddlesticks



Joined: 02 Nov 2004
Posts: 10460

PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 05 10:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

can you make holes in the bottom and make in to seed/plant trays? Or I've used polystrene broken up in to bits as crocks in the bottom of plant containers.

I've also used the disc shaped bits of polystrene tied on posts on the plot as bird scarers.

ele



Joined: 05 Sep 2005
Posts: 814
Location: Derby
PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 05 10:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Fiddlesticks Julie wrote:
can you make holes in the bottom and make in to seed/plant trays? Or I've used polystrene broken up in to bits as crocks in the bottom of plant containers.


I tried that once, cos I saw it on a garden programme but it was a bit of a disaster when I wanted to compost the spent potting compost, I spent ages picking out little bits of polystyrene which had disintegrated into the compost over the season how did you get around this problem?

Jonnyboy



Joined: 29 Oct 2004
Posts: 23924
Location: under some rain.
PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 05 10:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

it burns well.

sean
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 41482
Location: North Devon
PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 05 10:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Jonnyboy wrote:
it burns well.


Goes up a bit quickly though. I find it's best to mix it with old tyres for a really satisfactory fire.

cab



Joined: 01 Nov 2004
Posts: 32429

PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 05 10:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

You can make something very like napalm out of it...

But it would be MUCH better to find someone who can recycle it properly. The snag is that as expanded polystyrene is more air than anything else it can be difficult to get anyone to take it.

Nick



Joined: 02 Nov 2004
Posts: 33386
Location: Hereford
PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 05 10:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

You need to contact Expanded Polystyrene Recycling, an International body dedicated to the removal of EPS from your neighbourhood!

And, actually, I appear not to be joking.

http://www.epsrecycling.org/pages/recycle1.html

Lozzie



Joined: 25 May 2005
Posts: 2595

PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 05 12:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Can you use them to make hay-box cookers out of?

dougal



Joined: 15 Jan 2005
Posts: 7184
Location: South Kent
PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 05 12:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

cab wrote:
You can make something very like napalm out of it...

But it would be MUCH better to find someone who can recycle it properly. The snag is that as expanded polystyrene is more air than anything else it can be difficult to get anyone to take it.



I thought "napalm B" did contain polystyrene...

But expanded polystyrene doesn't contain *air*. It may not use CFCs any more as the foaming agent, but I don't think its air...

However, cab's real point is that the very low density of the stuff is a recycling problem. There's an awful lot of volume to shift, to deal with a tiny weight (and value) of material.

I tend to keep some for those occasions I need protective packaging material...
Use in flowerpots. As crocks, being light, they may make the pot "top heavy". Crumbled for "soil lightening" its hardly attractive, so some sort of "mulch" is a good thing.

Reuse (ie pass it on) is favourite!

I note that a lot of expanded polystyrene is used in the fish trade. What the heck do they do with it once its 'fishy'?

2steps



Joined: 05 Sep 2005
Posts: 5349
Location: Surrey
PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 05 1:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

my OH used to work for a company that recycle those boxes. I've chopped them up before and used as packaging for parcels. I have a homemade incubator made from the type thats used to transport fish - loads of fish factories round here

cab



Joined: 01 Nov 2004
Posts: 32429

PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 05 3:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

dougal wrote:

I thought "napalm B" did contain polystyrene...


Wouldn't surprise me.

Quote:

But expanded polystyrene doesn't contain *air*. It may not use CFCs any more as the foaming agent, but I don't think its air...


pedant

It may not start as air, but it's certainly air eventually. Check out the solubility for oxygen and nitrogen in polystyrene, and think on how thin the matrix of polystyrene is. It's air soon enough.

Quote:

However, cab's real point is that the very low density of the stuff is a recycling problem. There's an awful lot of volume to shift, to deal with a tiny weight (and value) of material.


That's precisely the problem. Polystyrene isn't worth much. Lots of air held together with a polystyrene mesh is worth even less. Stupid material, really.

dougal



Joined: 15 Jan 2005
Posts: 7184
Location: South Kent
PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 05 3:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

cab wrote:
pedant

Praise !

Because there is *so* little weight of plastic there, I'm starting to think that disposal by burning might actually be a preferable solution rather than transport to a 'disposal or recycling' facility...

As to it being a 'stupid material' - the problem is that its cheap and very protective. Its also a good thermal insulator (important for the fish). So its often a 'sensible' economic choice.
It'll get much more expensive as the oil price rises, so one might hope to see less of it in future...

marigold



Joined: 02 Sep 2005
Posts: 12457
Location: West Sussex
PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 05 3:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

My dear old Dad collected polystyrene to add to his loft insulation - he was obsessed with insulation having grown up in a very poor and cold household . When my brother and I cleared his house after his death we pondered the problem of getting rid of it (probably a good skip-ful in volume, if not more) and eventually decided to leave it for the new owners of the house .

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