What can be recycled?

Drink cups and other foodservice packaging products like foam cups, take-out containers, coolers, foam packaging used to protect items during shipping, and building insulation are just a few of the uses of expanded polystyrene (EPS) or “polystyrene foam” (also referred to as “Foam #6”)

Why it wants to be recycled

Recycling Foam #6 reduces the amount of solid waste that goes to our landfills and conserves natural resources.

How to recycle it

Foam #6 is a thermoplastic, which means that it can be recycled again and again. By using widely available compactors specifically designed for foam (known as “densifiers”), you can load 40,000 pounds of foam on a 48-foot trailer to transport the material to a recycling facility, where it is converted into recycled pellets. Because of advances in technology that have made foam recycling more efficient, some cities have added foam to their curbside and drop-off collection programs. In fact, there are over 200 drop-off locations across the country so far. Check here to see if there is a drop off location in your community.

Packaging peanuts can be reused or recycled — contact your local packing and shipping store, like UPS, to find out if they will take clean peanuts.

What does recycled foam become?

Foam can be recycled to make a number of items we use every day — from picture frames to crown moldings and baseboards to plant packaging, and much more. It can also be recycled into foam insulation to maximize your home’s energy efficiency or turned back into packing material to help protect fragile and breakable items.

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