Styrofoam Recycling Vendor to Pull Service May 21

Press Release

Baltimore City Department of Public Works (DPW) has been notified that the free polystyrene recycling service, located at the Northwest Citizens Convenience Center on Sisson Street, will be discontinued as of Monday, May 21.

The vendor providing the recycling service, Dart Container, said it was taking the step following the April 19 adoption of the ban on foam foodservice containers in the City of Baltimore. The ban on polystyrene, commonly known as Styrofoam, does not actually go into effect for 18 months. That gives restaurants time to put in place another plan for carryout service.

“The ban on foam foodservice containers will go a long way toward making Baltimore a cleaner, greener place to live,” said Mayor Catherine Pugh. “By cutting out foam food containers we’ll make a major dent in the amount of that material on our streets, in our streams, and in our landfill.”

Since the fall of 2011, Dart provided a container at the Sisson Street location for City residents to dispose of polystyrene, typically used as packing material for electronics or other fragile items. Residents brought about four tons of the foam to the Convenience Center each year, a small fraction of the volume of recycled glass, paper, metal, and plastic recycled annually in Baltimore.

The vendor that handles Baltimore’s residential recycling collection, Waste Management, does not accept polystyrene as part of that program. There is little market for the recycled material, so any other vendor would likely charge the City to take away the material.

After May 21, residents will still be able to get rid of polystyrene by bagging it and setting it out with their trash.

“I’m disappointed that Dart has chosen to end its service, but we are better off reducing the volume of material that enters the waste stream, and the resources needed to produce it, in the first place,” said DPW Director Rudolph S. Chow, P.E.

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Kurt Kocher
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The Baltimore City Department of Public Works supports the health, environment, and economy of our City and region by cleaning our neighborhoods and waterways and providing its customers with safe drinking water and sustainable energy practices.