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Burnaby trying to keep Styrofoam out of landfill

BURNABY (NEWS1130) – You can recycle all of the cardboard that ends up under your tree on Christmas morning, but Styrofoam usually goes straight to the landfill. It looks like that won’t be the case in Burnaby this holiday season, though.

“Our goal is to get Styrofoam out of the garbage system and as such, we’ll be accepting it at our Still Creek Recycling Depot on an interim basis,” says City Councillor and Environment Committee Chair Dan Johnston.

“We’re really focusing on the homeowner and hopefully, in time for the Christmas season we’ll get this up and running.”

Residents will be able to drop off up to three cubic yards of Styrofoam at no cost. Businesses will be charged $6 per cubic yard.

Johnston tells us if the program works, it will likely be expanded. “If we want to get our garbage volumes down so that we’re not taking it to incineration or landfills, we have to do some creative things.”

The pilot project will cost $30,000 over a one-year period. The material will be sent to a processing plant in Coquitlam and will then be shipped overseas. Eventually, it will be used to make items like picture frames.

Surrey has a similar program, as has New Westminster, which says feedback has been positive. The City of New Westminster points to this video, talking about the company that handles its Styrofoam.

Burnaby has a goal of diverting 70 per cent of its regional waste by 2015.