Expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam is used to package electronic goods, appliances and fragile items, as well as to make hot beverage cups and takeaway containers.
It's not biodegradable and it can take hundreds of years before it starts to break down in landfill.
While polystyrene foam is recyclable, it can't be placed in your yellow lid bin. This is due to its tendency to break into small pieces and contaminate all the other recyclable materials (making them unsuitable for recycling).
You can drop off clean polystyrene foam for recycling at these locations:
- Hunter Pods in Thornton. Bookings are essential; phone 4966 3959 to organise a drop-off time. Hunter Pods recycle the collected polystyrene into 'waffle pods' for the building industry. They can also collect your polystyrene, however, fees apply.
- Awaba Community Recycling Centre at 367 Wilton Road, Awaba. This is a free service for NSW residents for household quantities of polystrene.
If you can't take your polystyrene foam to a recycling drop-off point, please bag and tie it and place it in your red lid bin. This helps to stop it from blowing into the street when your bin is emptied, and reduces the chance of small, broken pieces of polystyrene from escaping into the surrounding environment when your waste is tipped into the landfill.
Did you know?
Many businesses now package their products with biodegradable packing 'peanuts' made from naturally derived starches—such as wheat or corn starch—that quickly dissolve in water.
You can reduce your environmental impact by taking a reusable cup when buying a takeaway coffee, and by asking business owners to consider using sustainable packaging for their products.