Voices » Ask Renee

THREE questions on Styrofoam

"There are very few options for recycling this material in our state."


EDITOR'S NOTE: All of Ask Renee's columns are moving to NUVO! Here's one from August of 2015.

Find more Ask Renee columns here: nuvo.net/askrenee


Hi Renee,

Do you know where I can recycle clean white Styrofoam? There used to be a company called Createc on Guion Road that would take it but they closed down years ago. I don’t have a whole lot of it, maybe 10 cubic feet but if I cant recycle it I will have to put this material in the regular trash/landfill. :(



Hi Renee,

My wife is now taking medication that is shipped to her each month in polystyrene containers about 9″ square. On the bottom is the recycle triangle with a “6” in it with “PS” below the triangle.

We have Republic recycling on the Indianapolis north side, and from their website, it doesn’t appear that they would accept these containers.

Do you know anyplace in Indianapolis who would take these for recycling? This could also include 32 and 44-ounce fountain drink containers which have the same designation.



I live in Carmel. What’s the nearest place I can go to drop off Styrofoam (Plastic No. 6)? IndianaRecycling.org lists the Marsh at Georgetown & 56th, but I drove all around and behind that parking lot and found dumpsters for all sorts of other recyclables, but not Plastic No. 6. I’m looking for a drop-off site for individuals to use, rather than the recyclers who service companies with mass amounts to recycle. There are other locations listed on the site, but I really don’t want to drive that distance only to find that they don’t accept Styrofoam.

Thank you!

Diane in Carmel

Ed, Don, Diane, and everyone else who wonders what the heck to do with expanded polystyrene (what is often referred to as Styrofoam),

There are very few options for recycling this material in our state. As far as I know, the public can still take clean, white block and food service polystyrene to Heritage Interactive Services, 3719 W. 96th St., Indianapolis, during their business hours, M-F 8 a.m.-3p.m. The South Walnut Recycling Center in Bloomington also accepts No. 6 PS foam, as does Walden Transport in Crawfordsville.

Don, some folks might be interested in your empty foam containers for reuse. You may try posting them on freecycle.org or craigslist.com. While you’re at it, you might try to stop getting 32 and 44-ounce fountain drinks in foam cups! Use a reusable cup or forgo the wasteful (never mind unhealthy) fountain drinks.

Diane, foam is one exception to the plastics 1-7 rule. Even though it has a No. 6, it is not always recyclable where plastics 1-7 are accepted. Unfortunately, you will have to deliver your No. 6 polystyrene to one of the few recyclers if you want it to be recycled.

Wonder how long I can go without someone asking about this over-used, under-recycled material again?

Piece out,



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