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Styrofoam Blocks, Food Trays, Containers

meat trays, Styrofoam, polystyrene
Styrofoam Blocks, Food Trays, Containers
Polystyrene is the chemical name for Styrofoam, a brand name trademarked by the Dow chemical company. Polystyrene comes in two forms: foamed and non foamed. The foamed form is used as packing material for electronics, or as meat trays or insulation.   In its non-foamed state, polystyrene is used to make disposable cutlery, CD and DVD cases and other hard plastic casings. Polystyrene is flammable and contains a multitude of harmful chemicals, making it one of the most challenging items to recycle or reuse.

Residential Styrofoam is managed through the province-wide Recycle BC product stewardship program. A full list of what is accepted for free through their depot network is available on their website.

Reduce | Reuse | Recycle | Facilities

How do I go green?

To reduce your consumption of polystyrene, try to purchase products that come with little or no packaging or in greener packaging materials such as molded paper blocks, aluminum trays or foil. Bring you own re-useable container for take out. Use recycled newspaper or egg cartons to pack breakables when moving or mailing packages. Encourage your local grocery store to replace Styrofoam meat trays. 

Crumbled polystyrene foam can be used in the bottoms of your planter pots to increase drainage. Save large or small chunks of polystyrene for packaging when shipping. Investigate schools or craft shops that may wish to use the material in art projects.  Styrofoam packing chips can also be returned to some courier companies for reuse.

Be aware of corn plastics - they are not recyclable and will contaminate the plastic recycling process.

Residential Styrofoam is accepted for free at Recycle BC Depots found here.
Contact facilities listed below regarding restrictions and charges.


  • Darryl's and James's Digs

    103 East Point Road
    Saturna Island

  • Ellice Recycle

    524 David Street

  • Esquimalt Return-It

    935 Ellery

  • Galiano Recycling Depot

    220 Sturdies Bay Road
    Galiano Island

  • Hartland Depot

    1 Hartland Avenue

  • London Drugs

    3170 Tillicum Rd (Tillicum Centre) & 911 Yates St (Harris Green Village)

  • Mayne Island Recycling Depot

    390 Campbell Bay Road
    Mayne Island

  • Oak Bay Public Works Yard (Oak Bay residents only)

    1771 Elgin Road
    Oak Bay

  • Pacific Mobile Depots (PMD)

    6215 Marilyn Rd

  • Pender Island Recycling Depot

    4400 Otter Bay Road
    Pender Island

  • Pender Island Waste Management Ltd

    Pender Island

  • reFUSE

    304 John St

  • Salt Spring Garbage and Recycling

    360 Blackburn Road
    Salt Spring Island

  • Salt Spring Island Recycling Depot

    349 Rainbow Road
    Salt Spring Island

  • Saturna Island Recycling Depot

    101 Harris Road
    Saturna Island

  • Sidney Return-It

    5-10025 Galaran Road

  • South Jubilee Neighbourhood Association Recycle

    1625 Bank Street

  • The Environmental Story

    Do not burn Styrofoam or polystyrene.  It is made using benzene, a known human carcinogen. Benzene is released into the air if the polystyrene is burned.

    Polystyrene makes up a significant part of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a slowly rotating collection of plastic in the centre of the North Pacific Ocean Gyre. There are 3.3 million pieces of plastic per square kilometer in the garbage patch. Over 8 billion kilograms of plastic ends up in our oceans each year, much of it polystyrene. These plastics don’t biodegrade, but rather break into increasingly smaller pieces, which can cause harm or death to sea birds, fish, turtles and other marine life.

    Using as little polystyrene as possible, and recycling what you do acquire in a responsible manner, is one of the best things you can do for the health of our marine and terrestrial ecosystems.

    Did You Know?

    Recycled foamed polystyrene is added to some products, such as clothes hangers, toys, flower pots, park benches and decking. It can also be combined with cement to act as an insulating element in concrete foundations. Foamed polystyrene (Styrofoam) is recyclable, but facilities are limited and markets are inconsistent. Incineration as a power source is also an option, though this produces carbon dioxide, benzenes and carbon monoxide, which must be removed before being emitted into the air.