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Polystyrene foam, commonly known as Styrofoam, can be brought to the ecocentre for recovery.

Attention! Styrofoam does not go in the blue bin.

For Styrofoam to be recovered, it is important to:

  1. remove all labels, absorbent pads, plastic packaging, adhesive tape, lids, nails, etc.;
  2. rinse and clean the containers to remove food residues;
  3. bring the Styrofoam directly to the ecocentre in bulk or in a transparent plastic bag, not a garbage bag, which will not be accepted.

Note: you no longer need to sort your styrofoam into three categories.

Accepted and not accepted items

Accepted items

In order to be recoverable, items must fall into one of the following categories.

Styrofoam food containers, including:

  • single use plates and bowls (without lids)
  • egg containers
  • take-out containers
  • coolers
  • trays for meat, fish and poultry
  • coffee and hot drink cups (without lids)

Protective packaging, including:

  • packaging for electronics and household appliances
  • winter protection materials and vegetation cones

Insulation panels (for buildings)



Not accepted items

Rigid polystyrene food containers, including:

  • single use plastic plates, bowls and utensils
  • individual portion yogurt containers
  • coffee cup lids
  • coffee creamer and milk pods
  • plastic wine glasses
  • all other # 6 rigid plastic containers

Other rigid polystyrene items, including:

  • CD and DVD cases
  • plant pots

When in doubt, consult DTRITUS to find out how to dispose of your items.

Polystyrene, Styrofoam or #6 plastic?

Polystyrene is a material used for synthetic insulation. There are two types: expanded polystyrene (also known as Styrofoam) and extruded polystyrene (rigid). Polystyrene is found in different forms, and its resin ID code is #6.

Rigid polystyrene is not accepted at the ecocentre. Only expanded polystyrene (Styrofoam) items identified above can be left at the ecocentre for recovery.

Why should I bring my Styrofoam to the ecocentre?

  • To give the polystyrene a second life and a chance for recovery.
  • To keep Styrofoam out of landfill and reduce the amount of buried waste.
    • One tonne of polystyrene takes up as much space as 34 tonnes of household waste. It is estimated that Gatineau's population gets rid of about 400 tonnes of polystyrene each year. 
  • To avoid exceeding the volume of waste permitted for each collection (120-litre grey bins).

Why can't Styrofoam go in the blue bin?

Polystyrene is a significant contaminant at the Tricentris recyclables sorting centre. When compacted in the collection trucks or at the sorting centre, it breaks apart into statically charged microbeads that stick to other materials, thereby contaminating them.

Because there are so few uses for recycled polystyrene, bringing it to the ecocentre is the best way to ensure its optimal recovery.

Is styrofoam accepted in grey bins?

Yes. However, styrofoam placed in the grey bin goes to a landfill site along with the rest of your trash, where it simply adds to the pile and pollutes.

For that reason, we encourage you to bring it to the ecocentre, where it can be given a second life.

What is recovered Styrofoam made into?

Recovered polystyrene is used to make lightweight concrete urban furniture and for blown insulation in basements, walls and lofts.



About Gatineau

Recognized for its quality of life, Gatineau is a city of 292,000 inhabitants. It is located on the north shore of the Ottawa River, and extends east and west of the Gatineau River.

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