How The Program Works



Step 1: Collect All of Your Waste EPS Foam

You probably got it when you bought a new TV, computer, or some furniture. Most cities don’t let you recycle this, and it just feels wrong to throw it into the trash can. A much higher use for this foam is to have it recycled and turned into new products, including surfboard blanks.

We only accept clean, white, #6, Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) foam.  This is exactly the same foam used inside EPS/epoxy surfboards, and it can be recycled into new EPS and other polystyrene products.

Please read the FAQ on what types of foam can be donated, and what types cannot. In essence, it must be hard white foam used in packaging. If the foam has been used to hold food, or is soft or flexible, it can’t be recycled through Waste to Waves. EPS foam used for building materials and insulation has fire retardant added, and cannot be recycled.


Step 2:  Find a local surf shop participating in the Waste to Waves program

Check out the list of Waste to Waves surf shops in California.

Step 3: Drop off your waste EPS foam in the collection box for Waste to Waves

We only accept:
- Clean, white, #6, EPS foam from packaging materials (such as what came with your new television)

Stuff we cannot accept:
- No food waste contaminated foam – it will contaminate the blank
- No foam “peanuts” – these aren’t EPS foam
- No broken surfboards – give them to instead

Step 4: EPS Foam is collected, recycled, and reprocessed into material which can then be used to make recycled EPS blanks

In most cases – Marko Foam picks up the collected foam from surf shops on their regular route to deliver new surfboard blanks to shapers. The collected foam will then ultimately be recycled, and can be reprocessed for use in new products, like recycled EPS surfblanks.

* (May 4th, 2012) Program Update:  due to the overwhelming volume of foam that has been collected by the Waste to Waves program so far, we are currently developing a more robust, expanded and efficient recycling system, to better match the enthusiastic demand for getting EPS foam recycled. Check the blog for more updates, and we’ll keep you posted as we figure it all out. At this time – the volume of foam being collected via W2W is currently more than can be used, for only being recycled into materials that can be used for making recycled surfblanks (by our program partner Marko Foam). This means that the total volume of collected foam will still be recycled, but whatever portion of that volume is not used by Marko Foam, will then be available for use in other EPS products. As the wider market for recycled surfblanks increases, we hope to be able to direct the full volume of what we collect, for recycling into new material that can be used to create recycled EPS blanks. This can’t happen unless you are part of the full solution, so check out Step #5 for how you can do your part to make this happen!

Step 5: Create the demand for more sustainable surfboards! Ask your shaper to make you a board from a recycled EPS foam blank!

Recycled EPS blanks shape the same and surf the same as “regular” EPS foam blanks, so make sure you ask your shaper to source a recycled EPS surfboard blank for you from Marko Foam. For an even more sustainable complete surfboard, consider having it glassed with a bio-based Epoxy resin, like the options from Entropy Resins. More info on more sustainable surfboards can be found on the Guide to Eco-Friendly Surfboards.