Styrofoam* Recycling

Styrofoam Guidelines 92920

Press release published 12/20/19

Middletown First Town in New Jersey to Purchase Styrofoam Recycling Machine


Several Collection Bins Available for Middletown and Monmouth County Residents 

For Immediate Release – December 20, 2019

MIDDLETOWN, NJ – Middletown Township today announced that it is the first town in the state of New Jersey to purchase a Styrofoam* recycling machine. Starting Thursday, December 26th, residents of Middletown and Monmouth County can drop off clean EPS (Expanded Polystyrene) foam packaging materials from large items such as televisions, appliances, computers and furniture at several locations throughout town. The recycling collection sites are located at the Middletown Recycling Center (52 Kanes Lane; open from 8:30 AM-4:30 PM Thursday through Monday) and the Middletown Train Station (open 24/7). There will be another drop off point in the Bayshore area in the near future.

The Township wanted to ensure that the machine would be installed by the holidays so the community could easily dispose of their Styrofoam packaging materials in an environmentally-safe way. “I am proud that Middletown is leading the charge on recycling Styrofoam in New Jersey,” said Mayor Tony Perry. “By recycling Styrofoam, we will be able to save a significant amount of space in the County landfill and give a product that could be harmful to our environment a second life.” The Township will be selling its end product to a local company that transforms recycled Styrofoam into durable products such as picture frames and crown molding.

Township officials weighed the financial and ecological benefits and determined that it would be more cost-effective to purchase its own machine rather than seeking sources of disposal outside the state. “The Foam Cycle Styrofoam recycling machine processes Styrofoam*/EPS to create an end product that can be sold and reused,” explained Public Works Director Ted Maloney. “Additionally, keeping Styrofoam out of our garbage stream has a significant impact on our ecological footprint since Styrofoam/EPS doesn’t break down in landfills.”

Middletown’s collection bins are the only ones in Monmouth County. By accepting Styrofoam from the entire County, the Township will be saving a significant amount of space and extending the life of the landfill. In addition, because the Township pays for landfill use by the ton, taking this material out of the equation will result in savings for taxpayers.

The Styrofoam recycling program is the beginning of the second phase of the Township’s Recycling Education Campaign that was launched last March. The goal is to help educate residents on how to recycle properly while providing them with eco-friendly ways to dispose of items that are not accepted in our single stream recycling system such as plastic bags, plastic toys, rigid plastics, large metals items and Styrofoam/EPS.

For additional information about recycling Styrofoam in Middletown, visit To learn more about how to properly dispose of items and view your personalized garbage, recycling and bulk collection schedule, visit or download the free Recycle Coach app. You can also call the Department of Public Works at 732-615-2109.


*Styrofoam is a trademark brand of Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) owned and Manufactured by the Dow Chemical Company.

Photo caption: Township officials with the new Styrofoam recycling machine located at the Middletown Recycling Center. Pictured from left: Sustainability Manager Amy Sarrinikolaou, Public Works Director Ted Maloney, Deputy Public Works Director Lory Hubbard, Mayor Tony Perry, Deputy Mayor Tony Fiore, Township Administrator Tony Mercantante, Recycling Assistant Supervisor Joe Puzzo and Deputy Public Works Director Vic Wymbs.

Styrofoam Reminder




To recycle Styrofoam* Peanuts:

Packing Peanuts

Packing peanuts made from polystyrene can be taken to your local Mail Boxes Etc stores, PostNet stores or UPS stores, where they will be reused in future packing shipments. For your nearest Mail Boxes Etc, PostNet or UPS store click on the company names listed below.

UPS stores will also accept bubble wrap for reuse in their deliveries so long as you avoid the temptation to pop the ’bubbles.’

Pack Ship n More, located at 300 Main Street, Madison, NJ 07940, will also accept packing peanuts, bubble wrap, cell phones, printer cartridges and rechargeable batteries for recycling.

To recycle Food Service Styrofoam: 

Polystyrene Food Trays, Plates and Cups Recycling

Disposable, single use Polystyrene food trays, plates and cups can be recycled but you have to scrape any food debris from the polystyrene and also rinse any foam cups before the material will be accepted by the recycling company. If your school or organization uses a lot of disposable polystyrene trays/plates each day in the canteen then you may be able to reduce your overall waste disposal costs if you arrange for these materials to be recycled.

Dart Container Corporation is a manufacturer of polystyrene products and offers a recycling program to recycling polystyrene waste (from other suppliers as well as their own products). Dart will supply a school or other organization with a polystyrene densifier machine which will compact the polystyrene trays, plates or cups down to about a tenth of their original volume. By compacting the polystyrene waste, to remove the air, transportation of this waste becomes much more cost effective and reduces the amount of energy spent in the transportation process. The compacted polystyrene cylinders will be collected once a month. by Dart who will then convert the polystyrene into small beads to be sold to other polystyrene manufacturers to make new products. This recycling program costs $300 per year but can often pay for itself by allowing you to reduce the frequency or number of your general trash collections.

For more information consult the Dart website or contact Derrick Vaniskhian at (201)-459-6301

The Alliance for Polystyrene Recyclers (AFPR) maintains a list of EPS drop off locations, including locations in the states of Delaware and Pennsylvania. To open the pdf file list, click here.

Many businesses listed on the AFPR website as drop-off locations for expanded polystyrene only accept large quantities for recycling so please contact the company to find out what they will accept before you make the trip.

* Information was taken from