Kitsap County residents can drop off clean and dry plastic foam items at a free collection event at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds Sheep Barn from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 28.
To keep the line moving, participants are asked to prepare materials at home, such as removing all tape and labels, making sure materials are clean and dry, and sorting materials by color and type.
This event is for Kitsap households only. One carload per home is allowed, but it is encouraged to ask friends and neighbors if they have foam products to bring for them. No businesses, trailers or box trucks will be permitted.
Items that are accepted include plastic foam blocks from packaging; shipping coolers; packing peanuts, and unstained takeout or meat trays; No. 6 foam or EPS (expanded polystyrene).
Items that are not accepted include hot tub covers; soft or flexible foams, EPE (expanded polyethylene); sealed foam; foil-lined foam; insulation board or spray-in foam, and hard plastics (including No. 6).
Collected materials are sent through a densifier machine to remove the air, according to a county news release. Kitsap County doesn’t own one of these machines, so Styro Recycle LLC currently handles the materials. The compressed foam blocks are then sold to manufacturers of eyeglass frames, picture frames, clothing hangers and other products.
If you can’t make the event, here are some other options for what to do with foam: put foam in your trash if you can’t take it to a recycling event or site; bag it so the fragile foam beads don’t become litter; save foam until the next local collection event, and if convenient, take it to a year-round styrofoam recycle site in Tacoma or Kent.