FEDERAL WAY If you ended up with a bunch of Christmas presents packed in Styrofoam, there is a way you can recycle it for free instead of dumping it in the trash.

Many gifts like electronics and televisions are packed in boxes with styrofoam. Styrofoam is not allowed in recycling bins. The problem is it could break apart and create a mess during the sorting process and not break down properly.

King County estimates about 9,000 tons of styrofoam ends up in the landfill each year from businesses and residents.

If you want to recycle your Styrofoam, Styro Recycle in Renton will accept it for free year-round. It s located at 800 SW 43rd Street, on the west side of the IKEA parking garage. The company heats up the blocks and compresses them down. They will eventually be made into plastic products like picture frames or DVD cases.

Styro Recycle says your material needs to be clean and dry. Remove all tape and any labels so it does not contaminate the recycle process. You need to bag your Styrofoam peanuts for drop off.

If you live in Federal Way, you can drop off your Styrofoam blocks for free at City Hall until January 18. Only clean white Styrofoam blocks are accepted for recycling - no cups, food trays, foam sheeting or other plastics. The city will take the Styrofoam to the Renton facility for you. City Hall is located at 33325 8th Avenue S.