San Diego

Councilman Says Styrofoam Ban Leads to More Styrofoam in Landfill

A San Diego City Councilmember wants the rest of the City Council to revisit the Styrofoam ban it passed in January.

Councilmember Scott Sherman said the ban is actually harming the city by putting 15 tons of styrofoam into the Miramar Landfill where restaurants unload Styrofoam they can't use anymore.

Sherman wants the City Council to look into the possibility of a public-private recycling partnership.

Restaurant owners are throwing all Styrofoam containers out into the trash, and also using up what they have left, and replacing them with paper or plastic containers.

“We focus on the food, so it doesn't matter if it comes in a styrofoam box or an eco-friendly biodegradable box,” said Hezthevan Garcia, owner of Tako Factory.

Garcia said he tries to stay a step ahead when it comes to following the city compliance.

Only about a dozen Styrofoam boxes are left in his shop still stacked on the shelf, and he plans to blast through those Thursday night and already has the bio-degradable containers ready to go out.

“It's just going to cost our customers a little bit more,” Garcia said.

Customers will take on the extra cost for the new containers. The old ones cost 15 cents each, and the new ones are about 60 cents each.

The problem is that he ended up tossing most of his Styrofoam container out which he said defeats the purpose of the environmentally friendly ban the city passed in January.

“Throwing them away is probably not the best solution, I would much rather like them to recycle them,” Garcia said.

NBC 7 reached out to City Council members who voted in favor of the Styrofoam ban. NBC 7 is waiting to hear back from them.

Sherman also noted that even though certain Styrofoam products have been banned, they are heavily used in mail packaging and nearby cities. He said it will still make its way into San Diego's landfill.

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