Styrofoam – What are we doing about it on P.E.I.?

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While P.E.I. may be considered be a leader in waste management, it is perplexing why do we not yet recycle Styrofoam.

It really should be banned as a toxic petrochemical, environmental hazard that does not decompose and leeches into our air, food, environment and water.

I have been collecting and storing it in my basement for the last several years because I ethically cannot put it in the waste.

Westmorland Waste Management in Moncton does recycle Styrofoam, which is sent to China to be made into crown mouldings.

Heather Myers of Waste Watch in a recent conversation helpfully assured me they were looking at options in the future on how to recycle Styrofoam, among other items.

In the meantime it is still headed for the waste.

A solution in the meantime would be to have volunteers collect it from designated sites and take it over to Moncton with the bridge fare paid.

Let’s put our thinking caps on.

Choose not to Styrofoam.

We are a smart, creative group of Islanders capable of solving this problem as well as many other issues.

Be that change you wish to see in 2014.

Call me to help or drop off your Styrofoam.

Collectively we all can make a difference.


Susan Marchbank

Freetown, P.E.I.



Landfilling Styrofoam can cost over $2,000/ton. See a quick study below:

Value at landfill

• Landfill typically costs $50-$75 per tonne.

• Compacted waste in a landfill typically has a density of 700 – 900 kg/cubic metre.

• Taking the mid points, landfill capacity in large sites is typically worth $80/cubic metre.

• On the other hand small landfills, without big compactors, may only achieve a density of 350kg/cubic metre and costs are typically on the high end of the range. The value could be upwards of $200/cubic metre.


Calculations – Cost of Landfilling PS Foam:

1. Mix of foam PS/EPS with an average density of .75–1.2 pounds/cubic foot.

2. Estimate 20–30 kg/m3 arriving at the landfill.

3. The landfill cost equivalent would be $956 to $2,374 per cubic metre.


• Larger, well-run landfill with good compaction landfilling PS foam costs $1,000 to $2,000 per tonne.

• Small landfills with poor compaction, landfilling PS foam could cost upwards of $6,000 per tonne.

Geographic location: Moncton, China, Freetown

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