Montreal Takes California’s Lead on Recycling Styrofoam


After a successful three month trial, Montreal has decided to continue its post-consumer polystyrene recycling pilot project for an entire year. With the support of the Canadian Plastics Industry Association (CPIA), the project will last for four seasons, making it more efficient and allowing it to provide more accurate data with regards to costs.

Currently, polystyrene products—labeled with the #6 recycling symbol—are not accepted in Montreal’s recycling system. However, through the post-consumer polystyrene recycling pilot project, consumers are able to dispose of their clean polystyrene foam products at the recycling center in Montreal’s LaSalle borough. 

“The objective is to find an economical and sustainable environmental solution to the collection and recycling of post-consumer polystyrene, thereby diverting this material from landfills,” explained Paul Aucoin, director of business development at the CPIA. The foam containers, often mistakenly referred to as Styrofoam, a registered trademark of the Dow Chemical Company, collected in LaSalle will be recycled by a Granby company and turned into insulation panels, packaging, office equipment, and moldings, among other products that are in high demand.

According to Josée Duplessis, president of the Executive Committee for the City of Montreal, this project was developed, in addition to other efforts, to reduce the amount of material going to the landfill. Mr. Duplessis commends Montreal residents for their support and for eagerly taking the necessary steps toward more responsible waste management.

Although polystyrene foam will not be collected through the public recycling program, the CPIA hopes Montreal will continue and expand the program with Écocentres across the city.

Sources: Solid Waste & Recycling Magazine, CBC