Polystyrene (EPS) recycling

House Services are now able to collect polystyrene packaging* in the same way as they collect cardboard.

Staff should leave any polystyrene packaging next to their nearest recycling bin for House Services to collect. All labels, tape etc should be removed from any polystyrene before leaving it out for collection.

Polystyrene is returned to the Environmental Services Unit Depot where it is treated using a thermal compaction unit (see here) operated by Campus Cleansing. It is then be collected by Ecogen Recycling & re-processed by European recyclers who melt it and pelletise it after which it is mainly used for making insulation products, or items such as seed trays, picture frames and garden furniture.

Where lab staff dispose of polystyrene items themselves, they are requested to dispose of these using the existing cardboard collection facilities across campus where it will be collected by Campus Cleansing.

If large amounts of polystyrene need collecting due to deliveries etc, please contact CCU direct (x52246 - 24 hr. answerphone).

*only EPS polystyrene can be recycled. What can/can’t be recycled is detailed below (and shown in the guide to the right of this page – see useful documents box).

We have found that some types of EPS (blue extruded polystyrene) are not suitable for the thermal compaction unit we use so cannot be recycled. If you have any specialist polystyrene you would like to recycle please contact the Waste Co-ordinator on x65963 to check if it is suitable.

What can be recycled

  • EPS polystyrene packaging

  • Polystyrene boxes/container

What can’t be recycled

  • Polystyrene cups, plates and cutlery

  • Polystyrene foam food trays/containers

  • Loose fill/polystyrene chips

  • Clear/hard polystyrene containers

  • Some coloured (black and grey) polystyrene containers as these have fire retardants in