Yukon man uses recycled Styrofoam to insulate home

Whitehorse resident Mitt Stehelin is using compressed Styrofoam from a local recycling centre as insulation on the foundation of his 60-year-old house.

Compressed Styrofoam donated by Whitehorse recycling centre

Mitt Stehelin of Whitehorse hopes wrapping his foundation in compressed styrofoam will make a big difference this winter. (CBC)

A Whitehorse man is using recycled Styrofoam for what he believes should be effective insulation against the effects of the cold, blustery Yukon winters.

Mitt Stehelin gets the Styrofoam from Raven Recycling. The recycling centre collects the Styrofoam, including egg cartons and disposable cups, and compresses it 50 to one.

It's donating the compressed bricks to Stehelin to insulate the foundation of his 60-year-old downtown Whitehorse home.
"When we dug out the foundation we found the walls had a symbolic amount of insulation," Stehelin says. "So this is  a big retrofit and hopefully it should make my house a lot more energy efficient."

He says he expects to pay a lot less to heat his home this winter after wrapping the foundation in a thick layer of the compressed Styrofoam.

Tests show recycled blocks provide almost the same insulation value as brand new Styrofoam insulation, at a fraction of the cost. 

There's also the advantage of keeping Styrofoam waste from filling up the local garbage dump.

Stehelin says he's looking into using it in his attic where it's currently insulated with woodchips.