Recycling Styrofoam Coffee Cups

I recycle everything I can, except I cannot find anyone who will take the Styrofoam coffee cups from the fast food restaurants. I usually have 5 to 7 per week. I don't want to fill up the our landfills if they can be recycled. On the bottom of the cup is the recycle sign with a "6" in the center and "PS" underneath. Any help? I live in Atlanta, GA.





In my city, Publix grocery stores recycle Styrofoam. (09/08/2002)

By chunkychow


You can use the Styrofoam cups for starting seedlings for gardens, planters, or flowerpots. You could also start the seedlings to sell at yard sales or to give as cheap gifts, if you have houseplants. I've bought small plants like that at rummage sales. Someone had a plant that was getting too large for her apartment, they said. This was her donation for the church rummage sale. What a neat idea, I thought! (01/22/2003)

By badwater

Recycling Styrofoam Coffee Cups

On Oprah last week, they talked about this very thing. They suggested purchasing an insulated coffee thermos and bringing it to Starbucks or wherever you buy your coffee. Oftentimes, they said they will give customers a discount for using their own thermos! (04/28/2007)


By Karen

Recycling Styrofoam Coffee Cups

You might also find my article at useful. Search it for "recycle Styrofoam". It's something we can all do at home, too. (05/10/2007)

By John

Recycling Styrofoam Coffee Cups

If you have any "bean bag" chairs or dog beds that have gone flat; a peek inside will show you that most are filled with Styrofoam bits.

Unzip the chair (carefully, this stuff will fly all over) and top the chair off with packing peanuts, small chunks of solid Styrofoam or cleaned and shredded cups. Nice and cushy again. (05/25/2007)

By Foamy

Recycling Styrofoam Coffee Cups

In my area we have The UPS Store. This store will pack and ship items for the public, for a fee of course. They also offer other services which you can read about when you Google "The UPS Store".


Don't confuse them with the UPS location where all the brown trucks congregate and get loaded and unloaded every morning and night!

The UPS Store will accept recycled Styrofoam "peanuts" which they use when packing fragile items. I save all the "peanuts" that come in items shipped to me.

When we occasionally buy an electronic product that has the large Styrofoam "chunks", that are molded to fit around fragile items, I save those too. When I take a TV break I grab some of the larger molded pieces and a paper bag or box and start breaking the Styrofoam into small, peanut sized pieces. (It's actually good therapy/exercise for my arthritic hands!) I just add these small pieces to the regular "peanuts". I keep all these in a large plastic trash can lined with a big garbage bag. When the bag is full I drop it off at The UPS Store. They have always been happy to get them. (06/08/2007)

By Grandma Margie

Recycling Styrofoam Coffee Cups

Hey! I found a place that will recycle clean #6 polystyrene! The below directions are from their website -

"Expanded polystyrene can be mailed via U.S. Postal Service or other carrier to:

Alliance of Foam Packaging Recyclers
1298 Cronson Boulevard, Suite 201
Crofton, MD 21114 USA

Shipping fees typically range from $1.50-$9.00 depending on the size of the package.

  1. Make sure the expanded polystyrene is clean and free of any plastic film, loose parts or glued-on cardboard.
  2. To increase the amount of expanded polystyrene in each shipping container, it can be broken or cut into smaller pieces so that more foam can fit in individual boxes.
  3. Alliance of Foam Packaging does not accept extruded polystyrene foam including meat trays, cups, egg cartons, or other disposable foodservice items for recycling.
  4. Expanded polystyrene can be identified by the number 6 plastic resin identification code.

Many types of foam plastic are not clearly marked; if you have questions please contact Alliance of Foam Packaging at (410) 451-8340."

By Paleogrants

Recycling Styrofoam Coffee Cups

Yeah. Sonic a restaurant I recently went to uses Styrofoam cups. I won't go there because of it. I can get a hamburger some place else! (01/27/2008)

By David

Recycling Styrofoam Coffee Cups

If you bring your coffee mug into McDonald's, Starbucks, gas stations, etc., they will gladly fill it, thus eliminating the need to recycle the Styrofoam. (02/25/2008)

By Michael

Recycling Styrofoam Coffee Cups

Thanks Grandma Margie for the UPS Store tip. I just called our local UPS store and they do take Styrofoam "peanuts". Yeah! I have bags of them that I am dying to get rid of. Thanks again! (03/05/2008)

By Debb

Recycling Styrofoam Coffee Cups

I found a company in Florida that sells machines that will break down the Styrofoam into poly gel which is salable at $.47-$.79 a lbs. Obviously this isn't for individual use, but I work at a company and I'm hoping to sell them on the idea. Several colleges have started to use them. It's pretty interesting. The company name is International Foam Solutions, Inc. (03/27/2008)

By Kat

Recycling Styrofoam Coffee Cups

I love the ideas here! Our school is recycling and the new year is about to begin so we will be receiving new supplies with lots of peanuts! And we do gardening, so I can't wait to use the tiny pieces in the pots and take the rest to the UPS Store. (07/15/2008)

By Nellie

Recycling Styrofoam Coffee Cups

I think that is a good good question. For one thing, the "ps" on the bottom of the cup stands for poly-styrene which is a plastic recycle number 6. To find a recycling station in or around your area, you can use the recycle finder on the earth 911 site here:

Other than trying to find a way to melt it down, try re-using it in a flower pot or elsewhere. If it was toxic, that would be great; people would use alternatives!

By emfetz

Recycling Styrofoam

I am so glad to see folks like myself that hate putting things in the land fill. Thanks for the help on finding a place that will recycle Styrofoam packing. I found a local place from the: website.
Thanks for the ideas and help with this issue. (08/19/2008)

By Diane

Recycling Styrofoam Coffee Cups

No one will take them, they are considered contaminated with food waste, just like take out boxes from restaurants. I don't know where you live and it could be different, but I think its hopeless for Styrofoam used for food products. (10/02/2008)

By Aaron

Recycling Styrofoam Coffee Cups

DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT MELT or throw the Styrofoam into a fire because the chemicals will get released into our air! Just break it up.

And BTW, to Microwave is also Heat. It is the same thing. (11/03/2008)

By Karen from KCMO

Recycling Styrofoam Coffee Cups
At this site you can type in where you live and what you want to recycle and it will tell you the nearest place to recycle it is! (01/28/2009)

By Michael A.

Recycling Styrofoam Coffee Cups

I lived in the Atlanta area for a while and found that Publix had a collection bin for Styrofoam meat trays. It was located right outside the front entrance with the plastic bag bin and paper bag bins. Hope that helps. (02/20/2009)

By Recycle Freak

Recycling Styrofoam Coffee Cups

Think about this folks. Styrofoam is a petroleum product. It can be dissolved with other petroleum products like gasoline, motor oil, etc. then mixed in with your waste oils and sent to recycling. (02/23/2009)

By Crocket

Recycling Styrofoam Coffee Cups

Hey there Atlanta GA. Still looking for a place to drop off your #6 Styrofoam cups? Don't know if it is near you or not, but there is a Dart drop-off in Lithonia, GA. In other states there are drop-off programs at Dart in Leola, PA; Mason, MI; Plant City, FL; Corona and Lodi, CA. For more foam recycling locations go to and search for "Styrofoam" (10/10/2009)



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