About polystyrene

Polystyrene (sometimes known as Styrofoam, and properly known as “Expanded Polystyrene Foam”) was first made in the 1960s, and many millions of tonnes of it are produced today.

Its popular because it has these properties:

  • low cost,
  • its lightweight nature,
  • heat and electrical insulation properties, and
  • its durability.

Some of these properties are also why it is difficult to dispose of.

Because it is often used for food packaging due its thermal insulation, polystyrene frequently ends up in landfill. Some estimates suggest it could comprise of as much as 30% of landfill waste.

Producing polystyrene also uses chemicals which could damage the environment.

Polystyrene recycling and reuses

The good news is that polystyrene recycling does take place, even if it is in small amounts. In the UK around 100 tonnes of polystyrene is recycled annually.

The process is like other recycling methods:

  • Incoming waste is washed and then ground down to remove the air
  • Its it then melted into a liquid and forced through a tube
  • The liquid cools into solid tubes, and is then chopped into pellets, ready for reuse

The process can also be done with limonene, a solvent made from orange peel!

How Yes Waste can help recycle polystyrene.

There are currently no Council facilities for polystyrene recycling in West Yorkshire. When we spoke to Wakefield Council, they informed us that all polystyrene is sent to landfill, and the same applies to Leeds and Huddersfield Councils.

Yes Waste can recycle polystyrene, as we work with major recyclers to deal with waste in bulk.

We can come and collect polystyrene anywhere in West Yorkshire – especially Wakefield, Huddersfield and Leeds. We can also collect it with packaging or as part of a general waste collection too. Please call to discuss what you need.

Enquiries and bookings

Making a booking for Yes Waste to come and collect all kinds of waste including polystyrene recycling is straightforward.

  • Just call us on 0800 058 2522 and speak to the manager – we can arrange an appointment then, normally within 48 hours.
  • Visit our website at yeswaste.com to find out more about what we do.
  • Send us a message with a photo of what you need clearing at https://www.facebook.com/yeswasteltd/