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There’s just one public recycling program in Northwest Arkansas that takes polystyrene, that tough, white plastic foam you might call Styrofoam: the Rogers drop-off center near downtown.

This is a good example of the kind of polystyrene to take to the Rogers drop-off.

Keep in mind you should drop off only a very specific variety of expanded polystyrene packaging, like you might find protecting new TVs and other electronics. This isn’t technically Styrofoam, which is the name of a kind of insulation; nor is it packing peanuts or the thin polystyrene “paper” in some to-go food containers. It’s got to be clean, too.

The center is picky because each of these types of foams is made differently and therefore recycled differently, so they can’t be mixed together. But if you’ve got the right stuff, it’s worth bringing by. The city’s program keeps expanded polystyrene, which can last for centuries without breaking down, out of landfills and the outdoors. Rogers also makes it easier to ship economical weights of the airy substance, which means manufacturers are more likely to buy and use the plastic for new goods such as plastic picture frames.

Pallets of densified polystyrene await shipping.

Workers solve the low-density problem by using a machine called a densifier, smooshing down a semi trailer’s worth of foam into heavier blocks that can fit a single wooden pallet. Over time, the drop-off center will accumulate dozens of pallets that can be shipped all at once.

You can visit the drop-off center 24-7 at 2300 N. Arkansas St.

By the way, this location is a great one-stop shop for your other recycling needs, too. Bring #1 and #2 plastic bottles, glass bottles and jars, paper, cardboard and steel or aluminum cans to the same place. And take hazardous household waste, electronics and more to the Benton County Solid Waste District facility right next door. You don’t need to live in Rogers to come by, though the waste district drop-off is limited to Benton County residents.