NOTICE 4/5/2024 @ 7:30am:  North Kent Waste & Recycling Center is in the final stretch of its expansion construction. Our recycling drop-off stations at this site have been temporarily moved — click here for the details. Stay tuned here on our website or our social media for updates!

Foam & Packaging Materials

How can Kent County Department of Public Works help?

Explore the waste stream options below for how you can reuse, recycle, compost, or dispose of the item you are trying to get rid of through a KCDPW facility or service.

Donate or Reuse
Compost
Recycling
Special Collection Recycling
Proper Disposal
Trash

If your Styrofoam or other foam plastic item is still in great shape and you just don’t have a use for it anymore, consider donating or repurposing it! Facebook Marketplace, Freecycle, Craigslist, or your local BuyNothing Project group are all great places to give away items. Check out some of the Community Diposal Outlets below for any places that accept donations or recycling.

Additionally, a quick internet search can provide you with some creative ways to reuse those Styrofoam and foam plastic items!

Foam plastics, while made of fossil fuels (old animal and plant matter), are NOT compostable.

Only BPI certified compostable plastics are compostable–usually under commericial composting conditions. Always check with your compost service if they accept BPI certified compostable plastics for processing.

Foam plastic items and Styrofoam items SHOULD NEVER go in your curbside recycling cart or in our recycling drop-off stations.

Due to their brittle nature, Styrofoam packaging, foam sheets, foam coolers, and other foam plastic items can crumble and clog sorting machines, or static-cling to other recyclables preventing them from getting recycled at all (due to all the little beads of plastic contamination on non-plastic items).

The technology of foam plastics recycling is slowly expanding to be more widely available. Some companies have collaborated on recycling take-back programs on certain Styrofoam and foam plastic items.

Check out some of the Community Disposal Outlets below for any places that accept donations or recycling.

Styrofoam items and other foam plastics are not hazardous waste.

Keeping foam plastics out of the landfill, when possible, and into reuse or recycling ensures we give those valuable resources a second chance at life and use! However, if you cannot recycle or repurpose your Styrofoam and foam plastics, this type of waste is acceptable in your trash or can be landfilled at Kent County Department of Public Work’s two residential trash drop-offs for a fee:

North Kent Waste & Recycling Center in Rockford
South Kent Waste & Recycling Center in Byron Center

The links above can provide the location address, recycling fee, and hours of service.

Community Resources

Below you will find businesses and community outlets that may accept this item/material.

Arvron
4720 Clay Street
Grand Rapids, MI 49548
616-530-1888

Accepts non-food, clean, block-style Styrofoam only.

Atlas EPS
8240 Byron Center Ave.
Byron Center, MI 49315
616-878-1568

Accepts used polystyrene foam including ice chests; protective packaging foam; and clean, white, food-grade foam.

Learn More

Michigan Foam
1820 Chicago Drive SW
Grand Rapids, MI 49519
616-452-9611

Accepts non-food, clean, dry, white-beaded style Styrofoam. Remove all tape and stickers.

Learn More

PakMail
866-905-9166

Accepts clean, square foam blocks or sheets, packing peanuts, and bubble wrap.

Multiple locations.

Learn More

Plastic Film Recycling

Offers a directory of local collection sites for recycling plastic film such as plastic grocery bags, air pillow packaging, plastic produce bags, bread bags, newspaper bags, and plastic product overwrap. Be sure to look for a recycling symbol ♻ or label such as the one below as not all plastic film is recyclable.

Multiple locations.

Learn More

Sealed Air
855-773-2533

Accepts bubble wrap, air pillow packaging, Instapak foam packaging, and polyethylene foam packaging.

Mail-in program.

Learn More

UPS Store
888-742-5877

Accepts clean packing peanuts, air packs, and bubble wrap for reuse.

Multiple locations. Individual store policies may vary.

Learn More