Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Donate your vehicle during the month of April or May and you'll be entered into a $500 Visa gift card drawing!

Two Lebanon groups host Styrofoam collection on Saturday to take to a Mass. recycling facility

If you’re in Lebanon hoping to recycle some plastic foam, come Saturday, you’re in luck.

Get NHPR's reporting about politics, the pandemic, and other top stories in your inbox — sign up for our newsletter today.

Sustainable Lebanon and the Lebanon Rotary club are setting up a collection for Styrofoam and other plastic foams on Saturday morning. They’ll drive the materials down to a recycling facility in Massachusetts, which then sends the Styrofoam and other foam to Canada for processing.

Like many municipalities, Lebanon’s solid waste facility doesn’t accept styrofoam for recycling. Instead, thisnon-biodegradable material is put in the trash, taking up limited landfill space.

“This is sort of a band-aid,” Liane Avery, a member of Sustainable Lebanon said. “We would love for less styrofoam to be needed in the world in general, alternative packaging that's less toxic to be used instead.”

The groups are accepting Polystyrene #6 (what’s usually considered Styrofoam), #4 low-density polyethylene, and #6 XPS insulation board foam. All other foam, including food cartons, egg cartons, cups and packing peanuts will be recycled via Terracycle. The foam does need to be clean, with tape and debris removed.

Polystyrene recycling requires a machine known as a densifier, which removes air from the material.

Fellow volunteer Cindy Heath, who lives in Cornish and set up a styrofoam collection earlier this summer, says she wants to expand opportunities to divert that from the waste stream in the region.

“We know that there aren't any polystyrene processing facilities in northern New England. So the real question is, is there enough volume in our region to make it financially viable to set up an operation?” Heath said.

Saturday’s collection will take place behind Jake’s Coffee in Lebanon from 9 to 11 a.m., rain or shine.

Lebanon’s solid waste facility is also encouraging residents to compost their pumpkins this weekend. It’s free of charge, but the city asks that any decorations or candles be taken out beforehand.

Daniela is an editor in NHPR's newsroom. She leads NHPR's Spanish language news initiative, ¿Qué Hay de Nuevo, New Hampshire? and the station's climate change reporting project, By Degrees. You can email her at
Related Content

You make NHPR possible.

NHPR is nonprofit and independent. We rely on readers like you to support the local, national, and international coverage on this website. Your support makes this news available to everyone.

Give today. A monthly donation of $5 makes a real difference.