Environmentalists have doubts about the efficacy of the City of Los Angeles' acceptance of foamed polystyrene and plastic bags in its curbside program, reports Francisco Vara-Orta of the Los Angeles Times. In the past, costly schemes to recycle large quantities of foamed polystyrene and other problem materials have been funded by industry groups and have all eventually collapsed due the high costs involved. Mark Murray, Executive Director of CAW, explains:
"The city of Los Angeles has been making great strides in providing recycling services to households, but it's more costly to recycle the foam and the bags. An outright ban would be better."
Whereas glass costs less than $90 per ton to recycle, recycling polystyrene costs well over $3,300 per ton, according to a 2007 California Department of Conservation report. Many believe that many would be better spent elsewhere, including LA County, which may oppose the City's move. The County is currently considering a takeout food packaging and plastic bag ordinance.
CAW and Plastics Waste