Expanded polystyrene (EPS)  foam products are NOT acceptable for recycling at UCRRA or participating Town Transfer Stations. EPS foam is widely not accepted for recycling by curbside collection services.

The Ulster County Food Service Waste Reduction Act, (Local Law Number 4 of 2015)  prohibits the use and distribution of expanded polystyrene containers at food service establishments.

The New York State Expanded Polystyrene Foam Container and Polystyrene Loose Fill Packaging Ban prohibits covered food service providers or stores (retail or wholesale) to sell or distribute disposable EPS foam food service containers statewide. In addition, no manufacturer or store will be allowed to sell or distribute polystyrene loose fill packaging (commonly referred to as packing peanuts) in the state.

Expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam is a major contributor to environmental litter, causing negative impacts to wildlife, waterways, and natural resources. EPS foam is lightweight, breaks apart easily, and does not readily biodegrade, rendering it persistent in the environment and susceptible to becoming microplastic pollution. In addition, EPS foam containers and loose fill packaging are not accepted by most recycling programs in New York State because the foam is difficult to recycle, easily contaminates the recycling stream, is often soiled, and has low value.


Reduce your use of unrecyclable plastic as much as possible. Visit our webpage linked here to find a BULK/REFILL option, or a local business that participates in the TIFFIN PROJECT.

Food service establishments can reference this helpful guide for sourcing more sustainable alternatives!

Contact local your local Post Office, FedEx, shipping center, or antique center to ask if they can reuse any packing peanuts. Or reuse packaging/shipping materials whenever possible; sharing with friends and family who are moving, share on social media, etc.

Contact: To find a location where you can drop-off packing peanuts visit Questions about the NYS EPS ban may be directed to