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You don't HAVE to put Styrofoam in your garbage can. It's not even a good idea to do that...

ELIZABETH USSHER GROFF - Blocks of Styrofoam are often seen at the curb or in garbage cans. But, please - do NOT put Styrofoam into the garbage. There are actually good alternatives!  The next date for free recycling of Styrofoam and #6 plastics at the Division Street New Seasons Market is Thursday, August 29, 1-4 p.m. One warm summer day, large blocks of clean white Styrofoam could be seen flowing out of a garbage can on pickup day at S.E. 43rd Avenue, in the Woodstock neighborhood. Down the street, more block Styrofoam, or "packing blocks", were peeking out of another garbage bin.

If you are cleaning out your basement, garage, or apartment, and come across block Styrofoam, do NOT put it in the garbage! It is not biodegradable, and should be kept out of landfills and the environment. If it gets into the environment, it harms animals and birds when they try to ingest it.

But what are neighbors to do? Far West Fibers Recycling, formerly on S.E. 26th between Pardee and Schiller Streets, has closed. People chat online about where to recycle this stiff, white, hard-to-recycle product. One reliable drop-off location is in Tigard; but that can certainly be inconvenient for some people who live in Southeast Portland.

A closer alternative for recycling block Styrofoam is at the New Seasons "Seven Corners" Market at 1954 S.E. Division Street, just north of the Brooklyn neighborhood. They will accept up to two large bags – 50 gallon bags – of block Styrofoam, once a month, for free. They have also informed THE BEE that, on each recycling day, they will accept #6 plastics.

However, if you call the Metro Recycling Hotline 503/234-3000, they usually suggest taking it to the facility in Tigard because the date for New Seasons Division drop-off is not easy to obtain – it is set each month at New Seasons, rather than being on a consistent day each month. The Metro hotline is, however, notified by New Seasons, whenever the date is set – and the next one, where Styrofoam and #6 plastics will be taken, is Thursday, August 29, 1 to 4 pm, at Seven Corners New Seasons.

But for dropping off your Styrofoam on other days, it should be taken to Agilyx Recycling Center, 13240 S.W. Wall Street in Tigard, 503/217-3160. They are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Fred Meyer stores also accept Styrofoam and electronics on certain Saturdays, as part of their "Green Days" events, co-sponsored by the Trail Blazers.

An online Fred Meyer notice announces: "The [Green Day] events will feature special appearances by Blaze, Fred Bear, the Blazer Dancers, and other Trail Blazer personalities. Fans can take advantage of the vendor village, enjoy delicious samples and free goodies, snap a photo with Trail Blazer personalities, get an autograph, and support our environment. You could even win tickets and other great Trail Blazers prizes."

These Green Days are scheduled in advance – but at only one location. A Green Day event this month, to which Styrofoam can be taken, is on August 17th at the Fred Meyer store at 11425 S.W. Beaverton Hillsdale Highway in Beaverton, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.


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