Guide to Foam Recycling at the City Recycle Center
The City of New Braunfels accepts plastic foam for recycling ONLY at its drop-off location - City Recycle Center, 488 S. Castell Ave. The type of plastic foam currently accepted is called expanded polystyrene (EPS), commonly identified with the #6 code.
REMEMBER - all foam brought for recycling MUST be free of food residue, tape, labels, and any other items that might be attached to the foam. The City Recycle Center does not have the facility space to remove these prior to densification.
Bring foam in a bag or container that can be easily and quickly emptied.
Once dropped-off, an onsite machine cuts the foam into small pieces, heats it, and densifies it. Once densified, the densified foam can be used by plastics manufacturers to create new products, such as picture frames and crown molding.
Below are some frequently asked questions about the types of foam that are accepted for recycling.
Are egg cartons recyclable, even if the container is not white?
Yes, you can bring foam egg cartons in all colors for recycling.
My family eats fast food frequently so we have lots of cups and to-go containers that are Styrofoam. Are those accepted at the drop-off location?
Yes, foam items that are clean, dry, and free of debris - including cups, plates, and containers - can be dropped-off. Do not bring any items that have food residue.
I bought a new light fixture and it was packaged in foam. Is this foam recyclable?
Yes, the foam is accepted, but all the contents must be removed prior to drop-off. Please remove any tape, labels, or stickers that is attached to the foam, as well.
What about the foam trays that fresh meat is usually packaged on?
Yes, the trays are accepted, but they must be clean, meaning absolutely no food residue. The plastic wrap is not recyclable and must be put in your garbage.
Foam Packing Peanuts
What about foam packing peanuts? There are some packing peanuts (also known as loose fill) that look like they are plastic foam but are biodegradable packing peanuts that are actually starch-based and soluble in water. Make sure that the ones you have are actually plastic foam and bring foam peanuts in a separate container from other foam or other recyclables.
Also, foam peanuts often can be reused by local mail and shipping centers. Check with local businesses before bringing packing peanuts for drop-off.