Pointe-Claire introduces polystyrene drop-off program

Recycling bins for polystyrene are the product of a group effort involving the City of Pointe-Claire, the Canadian Plastics Industry Association and Polyform, a Granby-based polystyrene recycling company.

Residents can now recycle styrofoam and related plastics at public works department on Terra Cotta Avenue

The trays used in grocery story packaging are one example of polystyrene products that can now be recycled through a new program in Point-Claire. (CBC)

Recycling polystyrene is getting a little easier for residents of Pointe-Claire on Montreal's West Island, thanks to new dedicated drop-off bins.

Located at the entrance of the city's public works department on Terra Cotta Avenue, the placement of the bins is the product of a group effort involving the City of Pointe-Claire, the Canadian Plastics Industry Association and Polyform, a Granby-based polystyrene recycling company.

Steve Tramley, who is responsible for the CPIA's sustainability and recycling initiatives in Quebec, said the decision to put out the bins year-round is based on the success of dedicated polystyrene collection days in Pointe-Claire and Beaconsfield.

"The support was just amazing," Tramley said. "It was surprising to see that some citizens kept their polystyrene stored for a couple of years even for the chance to make sure it got recycled one day."

Both initiatives address widespread frustration over the difficulty of recycling polystyrene in its many forms.

Polystyrene is identified with the type "6" plastic symbol. (CBC)
The new bins allow residents to recycle three types of polystyrene products, which are marked with the number 6 recycling symbol.
  • Styrofoam (protective packaging, cups, coolers)
  • Extruded polystyrene (grocery store trays and packaging)
  • Rigid polystyrene (coffee cups and lids)

"The material collected will be recycled and reused in different large block products like supports for an autoroute onramp," Tramley said.

Polystyrene is also collected at the Lasalle Ecocentre and will be collected at the Saint-Laurent Ecocentre which is due to open in the summer of 2016.

Tramley said a proposal to put in place a similar collection program in Beaconsfield is also being discussed.