Recycle that polystyrene

From the Inbox:

Polystyrene Foam Recycling Available

Beginning Monday, June 25, 2012

Beginning Monday, June 25, 2012, the City of Houston will accept clean block style or packaging polystyrene foam at the Westpark Recycling Center, 5900 Westpark, Houston 77057 and the Environmental Service Center South, 11500 South Post Oak Lane, Houston 77045.  Residents can drop off polystyrene foam at both facilities.

The operating hours for the Westpark Recycling Center are Monday – Saturday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. The Environmental Service Center South is open Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. and the second Saturday of each month from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Thanks to the generosity of Total Petrochemicals & Refining USA, Inc, the City of Houston Solid Waste Management Department (SWMD) has obtained a polystyrene densifier and compactor machine that enables SWMD to transform polystyrene waste into a valuable recycled material. Up until now, polystyrene foams – commonly known as “Styrofoam” – were bulk materials used in packaging that ended up in Houston’s landfills.  Now, polystyrene foam can be compressed by a factor of 40 to 1.  As a result, the densified polystyrene foam becomes a product that can be recycled and reused in a variety of commercial and residential uses.

For more information about polystyrene foam recycling and collection, contact Sandra Jackson at 713.837.9164 or email [email protected].

To learn more about recycling in the City of Houston, visit,, Facebook at and on Twitter @houstontrash.

Very cool. Every time we get a box that has those big styrofoam blocks in it, I want to do something other than throw them out – it sure seems like you ought to be able to recycle them – but there has been no choice. Not anymore, thankfully. I hope someday that these items will be allowed in curbside recycling as well. Regardless, kudos to the Solid Waste department for making this happen.

UPDATE: This is only for styrofoam blocks and packaging, not packing peanuts as my original title read. Those should be taken to your nearest FedEx/Kinkos or UPS Store for reuse. Please remember not to mix the biodegradable peanuts with the styrofoam ones. Thanks to Andy F. for the correction.

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One Response to Recycle that polystyrene

  1. Tyson Sowell says:

    The City will also start taking household #6 plastics like styrofoam cups, plates, and clamshells. Keep in mind, they must be cleaned thoroughly. No oils or food scraps of any kind can be present on these materials.

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