San Diego is considering adding recycling of polystyrene food containers to its stream. But for now, it has delayed making that call.
The San Diego City Council's Environment Committee has ordered a further staff study of the issue before proceeding with any legislation.
San Diego Patch has the report:
The city currently accepts what's called "expanded polystyrene" packaging material for recycling, but not the kinds used for food products -- like coffee cups or takeout containers.
According to the report, a consultant found that the city's two contractors have trouble with food containers that do enter the waste stream because they're dirty and contaminate other recycling products, lowering their value.
Food containers and foam cups have to be removed by hand from a conveyor belt and taken to a dump, said Mario Sierra, the city's environmental services director.
Sierra said that because recycling companies would need to upgrade equipment and add labor time to accept food containers, costs to the city would rise by an estimated $290,000 a year. Further study is required to nail down a more precise figure, which could be higher, he said.