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Polystyrene recycling offered

New technology takes care of Styrofoam


On July 24, the District of Squamish (DOS) started collecting polystyrene, commonly called Styrofoam. Three massive construction bins' worth have been recycled.

A similar collection program was launched in Whistler in September.

The DOS took over collection of polystyrene from Nesters Market in Squamish, which began to accept meat trays in August 2011, a program pushed for by the local Climate Action Network. It proved popular enough to evolve into the community-wide program.

The foam products are being collected at the landfill in Brackendale. A collection bin is also in place at Whistler's waste transfer station just off Highway 99 at the entrance to the Callaghan Valley.

Rod MacLeod, the Solid Waste Project manager with the DOS, said the annual program cost in Squamish is about $8,000. The polystyrene is being collected in 40-yard construction bins owned by Carney's Waste Systems. Carney's takes full bins to a Coquitlam company called Foam Only which compresses it into "feed stock" for the creation of things like picture frames and as a substitute for wood moulding in the construction industry.

Colleen Carney said a three-month agreement to test the collection of polystyrene in Whistler has just ended, while Squamish is in a six-month contract. There's no fee to bring polystyrene to the landfill or the transfer station. The program puts the Sea to Sky corridor ahead of the rest of the province as B.C. moves toward maximizing recycling options.

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