(KMTR) -- With Christmas and other holiday presents coming out of the box, now is the time of year when expanded polystyrene (what many people know as Styrofoam) can fill up an entire garbage can.
However, before you toss the white blocks, one local non-profit is hoping people will recycle it for the environment and to support local jobs.
Saint Vincent de Paul is putting the word out, hoping to people will take their holiday Styrofoam to them instead of the garbage.
The non-profit has been recycling Styrofoam blocks for the last year and a half, keeping the landfill smaller and new jobs running. is putting the word out, hoping to people will take their holiday Styrofoam to them instead of the garbage.
Styrofoam blocks are typically packed with televisions, video game systems, computers, furniture and more.
St. Vincent de Paul is taking those blocks for free now as part of its program. With the excess Styrofoam, the non-profit grinds and compacts the product into logs.
The logs are then resold on the building supply market for architectural detailing.
One example of Styrofoam use in architectural detailing is the Aaron’s rent-to-own building on the corner of 11th and Chambers. The building has Styrofoam molded crowning on its top.
Since the St. Vinnie’s program started, it has kept 18-tons of foam out of the landfill. Scientists estimate it takes around 500 years for Styrofoam to biodegrade.
“It is a successful program it has created jobs as you can see, in addition to that, it also has created revenue because we do sell this material, but the best thing about it is the degree to which the public and all of us can feel good about saying, 'we don't have to waste this material anymore,” says Terry McDonald, Executive Director of St. Vincent de Paul.
St. Vinny’s will take any amount of Styrofoam at any of its stores. If it’s more than a shopping cart full, they’ll charge a dollar. For a 4x4x4 “supersack” of foam, they’ll charge five dollars.
Any foam used for food will not be accepted.
Packing peanuts will be collected and reused by the Aurora Glass company.