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The same properties that make polystyrene an excellent packaging material - its light weight, low cost and strength - make it difficult to recycle. The cost of trucking polystyrene to a recycling plant is cost-prohibitive and it has low scrap value. Because styrofoam food containers are usually contaminated, they require cleaning before they can be processed for recycling, another factor which makes recycling generally infeasible.

To recycle foam packaging peanuts for drop-off locations or call 800-828-2214.

The organizations listed below have discovered ways to successfully recycle polystyrene: 

Abt Electronics
1200 N Milwaukee Ave, Glenview
(847) 967-8830
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday:  1:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Closed: Wednesday and Sunday
Abt accepts white polystyrene (styrofoam) for recycling. Using a machine to densify polystyrene, Abt bags and transports the densified coils to be reused to make picture frames and plastic woods. Also recycles most electronics, large appliances and small appliances (e.g., computers, hair dryers, microwaves, toasters, humidifiers), cardboard, batteries, and plastic packaging material. Please bring your recyclables to the Recycling Center, the freestanding building located just west of the main building. Abt does not accept glass, light bulbs including Christmas lights, cd/dvd/vhs tapes, and styrofoam peanuts.

Dart Container Corp.
310 Evergreen Dr, North Aurora
(630) 896-4631
Dart operates a polystyrene foam recycling plant, open to the public. Please bag small pieces so they won't blow away. Click here for more information. Open 24 hours, every day.

7575 South Kostner Ave, Chicago
(773) 838-2515
This location will accept a wide variety of recyclable foam, including foam cups, foam food containers, egg cartons, meat trays, ice chests and packaging frequently used to protect fragile materials like TVs during shipping.
Open 24 hours, every day.

City of Highland Park
Highland Park Firearms Training Center

1180 Half Day Rd, Highland Park
Tuesday and Friday: 7:00 am – 1:00 pm
Accepts #6 (sytrofoam) only. Please empty and rinse all foam products before recycling so they are free of food residue.

Village of Winnetka - TEMPORALLY SUSPENDED
Winnetka Public Works Building Lobby
1390 Willow Rd, Winnetka
Monday - Friday: 7:00 am – 4:30 pm
Accepts #6 block style and clean food service styrofoam only (no packing peanuts). Offered in partnership with Dart Container Corporation, neighboring communities are welcome to participate.

Also see Packaging Products. Some UPS store locations will accept clean packing peanuts for recycling.

Updated 10-24-18

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You are here: Home Styrofoam/Polystyrene