Styrofoam & Packaging Materials

Packaging Peanuts

Why can't it go in the recycling bin?

Packaging material such as Styrofoam™ (foamed polystyrene), bubble wrap, packing peanuts and packaging pillows are not recyclable curbside due in part to their structure. Even though these items might have recycling symbols on them, they can’t be recycled properly in the curbside collection system. Bubble wrap and packaging pillows can tangle up in the gears of recycling trucks and the sorting equipment at the MRF. In a curbside cart system, Styrofoam™ will often break apart and contaminate the paper, plastics and other recyclable items in the shared space.

If I can't put it in the curbside recycling bin, where can it go?

Reduce polystyrene or Styrofoam™ use when possible. As an alternative, use table settings and containers that are reusable or designed to be composted. At restaurants, you can ask for leftovers to be packed in aluminum foil, which is more easily recycled. In addition, use reusable containers to store leftovers, snacks or meals. Polystyrene food and beverage containers can be dropped off at the DPW recycling drop-off site, 1800 E. State Road, or other area locations as detailed below. Styrofoam™ is recycled and baled separately from other materials, which allows it to be recycled into more Styrofoam™ products and not contaminate other recyclables brought on site.

There are currently no recycling options for packaging peanuts. You can reduce the use of packaging peanuts by packaging items in commonly recycled material such as shredded paper or crumpled newspaper. Packaging peanuts can be dropped off for reuse at Delphi Stained Glass at 3380 East Jolly Road in Lansing. Call them first to confirm they are accepting them.

Polystyrene food and beverage containers can be dropped off at the following locations:

Recycle Location Phone Hours
DPW Recycling Drop-Off Site 1800 E. State Road
East Lansing, MI
(517) 337-9459 Monday-Friday,
7:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Dart Container 432 Hogsback Road
Mason, MI
(517) 676-3800 24 hours / 7 days
Dart Container 2148 Depot St.
Holt, MI
(517) 676-3800 24 hours / 7 days
St. Johns Lion Club N. Swegles Street and E. Steel Street
St. Johns, MI
Charlotte Area Recycling Authority 201 Hull Street
Charlotte, MI
(517) 541-0151 Tuesday, 10 a.m. - Noon,
3:30 to 7 p.m.