Styrofoam recycling a success in region

More than 400 people participated in the free Styrofoam Round Up Oct. 24

North Okanagan residents did their part to divert waste from the landfill.

More than 400 people participated in the free Styrofoam Round Up Oct. 24 at the Real Canadian Wholesale Club in Vernon and at the Super A Foods in Lumby.

Three-and-a-half, 10-ton truck loads of clean, recyclable styrofoam were collected in four hours.

“To give you an idea of just how much styrofoam that is, it would be enough to fill an average size house (1,200-square-feet) from floor to ceiling,” said Karmen Morgan, Regional District of North Okanagan waste reduction co-ordinator.

“After this material is processed, the densified material would fit in a bedroom closet of that average size house.”

The three most common issues with some of the styrofoam that was brought in for recycling were; plastic packaging that looks like styrofoam, but isn’t, meat trays with a plastic liner attached to the styrofoam, and trays with stickers on the bottom. Stickers, tape and other plastic material can cause issues with the densification process.

“Our styrofoam recycling program is unique in Canada and I am pleased that RDNO residents have an option to keep this material out of area landfills,” said Morgan.

Styrofoam drop-off is available year-round in Vernon at Interior Freight and Bottle Depot and at the Venture Training Centre. A $3 per bag handling fee is charged at the drop-off locations, which covers the cost of receiving, inspecting, processing, and transporting the collected material.

Styrofoam drop-off is also available at the Greater Vernon and the Armstrong-Spallumcheen landfills. Regular refuse disposal fees apply.