Company News, Zero Waste

Styrofoam Recycling Now Required in Vancouver

White Styrofoam is now banned from going into commercial garbage bins in Metro Vancouver. Are you a business looking for a Styrofoam disposal facility? We recycle commercial Styrofoam (fees apply), contact us today at 604-987-1493 for more information.

Metro Vancouver’s Styrofoam ban includes an expensive fee if Styrofoam blocks are found in a load of garbage taken to a Vancouver area garbage facility (such as Transfer Stations and the Vancouver Landfill). The purpose of the Styrofoam ban is to encourage more Styrofoam recycling, prevent negative environmental impacts, and prevent the material from taking up large amounts of space in landfills. You can distinguish Styrofoam from other types of foam as it breaks into small bead like pieces and may have the Number 6 labeled onto it. The word polystyrene, or expanded polystyrene (EPS) is also used to refer to Styrofoam.

Styrofoam blocks

WCS has been collecting and recycling Styrofoam for many years. Contact us for available sizes of bins and pick-up options for your company. For businesses with infrequent Styrofoam loads, we also accept Styrofoam dropped off to our North Vancouver Recycling Depot (fees apply). Once the Styrofoam is collected or dropped-off it is compacted at our North Van location.

Our staff use a Greenmax EPS Styrofoam densifying machine (pictured above) to remove air from the foam and squish it into a solid block. Densifying the Styrofoam shrinks the volume of it to 50 times smaller than its original size. Reducing the size makes the material much more efficient to transport. The densified blocks are sent to downstream partners such as Foam Only, Blue Planet Recycling, and Intco Recycling. The material is then recycled into new items such as picture frames, crown moldings, and base boards.

Styrofoam that has been densified at WCS

White Styrofoam blocks used for packaging are the only foam type banned from going into the garbage. Materials that are NOT banned include: food and beverage Styrofoam containers, packing peanuts, and Styrofoam that is painted, soiled, or treated. These items can still go into your garbage bin as most are not currently recyclable.

If you have Styrofoam from your home and are looking for a place to recycle it – find a Recycling Depot location near you by searching on Metro Vancouver’s Recycling Website at

Author: Leah Coulter


  1. A list of locations that would accept styrofoam would be very helpful. Just the left over bits from the years from packaging

  2. Why doesn’t the city provide household boxes for pickup…..not everyone has vehicles to take styrofoam for recycling

    1. Hi Wendell,

      Great question! As much as we all wish for the perfect system, rolling out new recycling programs and services for many households requires a ton of logistics, research, and testing prior to ensure the program’s feasibility and success. WCS actually participated in a recent 6-month pilot project on the curbside collection of Styrofoam and flexible plastics in 2021 led by Recycle BC for s select number of participating residents in West Vancouver, to collect data on just that! It may appear slow, but progress IS being made, and all we can do as individuals is continue to do our best, and to stay updated on news of recycling improvements as they develop!

      Charmaine Wu

  3. There are different type of Styrofoam. Only number 6 is recyclable. What do you do with popcorn and flex foam?

    1. Great question, Agzam. Our company currently only accepts Expanded PS (Polystyrene) foam which we densify in North Vancouver B.C. to be recycled.

      Flex foam which is most likely PE (Polyethylene) foam can be taken to:
      They appear to currently have a pop-up depot every 3rd Saturday of the month at Britannia Community Centre and Lord Byng Secondary:

      Hope that helps!

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