Styrofoam and soft plastics recycling

Take part in the soft plastic and/or styrofoam collection programs!

Did you know that plastic bags (a type of soft plastic) and styrofoam are not currently recyclable at UBC’s sort-it stations? If you are generating a significant amount of soft plastic or styrofoam waste, you can participate in our pick-up program.

Please contact the Facilities Service Centre if your department or building would like to participate in the soft plastic collection and/or styrofoam collection programs.

Soft plastics

Plastic bags (a type of soft plastic) are NOT currently recyclable at UBC’s sort-it stations. For departments that generate significant amounts of soft plastics, there are collection points at the loading docks of select buildings. For these locations, soft plastics must be collected by building staff or users in large clear bags which can be requested through the Facilities Service Centre, and placed into a designated bin at the loading bay recycling area for collection by our Municipal Services’ Waste Management team.

The Soft Plastics Recycling program currently includes 7 pick-up locations throughout UBC Point Grey Campus.

Buildings with pickup locations

  • Bookstore – Pickup is every Wednesday
  • Life Science – Pickup is every Tuesday
  • Nest/Student Life loading bay (North end of Student Life building) – Pickup is daily
  • University Service Building – Pickup is Tuesday/Friday.
  • Chemistry Stores – Pickup is every Wednesday.
  • Orchard Commons – Pickup is every Monday/Thursday.
  • Chan Centre – Pickup is every Wednesday

Please contact Tamas Weidner, Manager, Municipal Services for clear bags. You may also use any clear bags available in your area.

Styrofoam

Styrofoam is NOT recyclable at UBC’s recycling sort-it stations. Consequently, Styrofoam packaging (such as food trays) should be avoided wherever possible.

As Styrofoam is sometimes unavoidable in equipment shipping, Municipal Services provides Styrofoam collection at select locations on campus where generation of Styrofoam waste is significant. For these locations, Styrofoam must be collected by building staff or users in large clear bags which can be requested through the Facilities Service Centre and placed at the loading bay recycling area for collection by our Municipal Services’ Waste Management team on every second Wednesday of the month.

Download our pick up calendar

2023 Styrofoam pick-up calendar [PDF]

Buildings with pickup locations

The Styrofoam Recycling program currently includes many participating buildings with fifteen pick-up locations throughout UBC Point Grey Campus!

  • Beaty Biodiversity Centre
  • Biological Sciences
  • Bio Medical Research
  • Brain Research Centre
  • Chemistry
  • Earth Sciences Building
  • Freddy Wood Theater
  • Leonard S. Klinck
  • Life Sciences Centre
  • Michael Smith Labs
  • Museum of Anthropology
  • Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Scarfe
  • Wesbrook

Please contact Tamas Weidner, Manager, Municipal Services for clear bags. You may also use any clear bags available in your area.

FAQ: Soft plastics and styrofoam recycling

What will the soft plastics programs look like for my building?

All soft plastics will be collected in a clear bag and that clear bag will be placed inside a marked grey recycling bin at the loading dock where all the other recycling bins are located.

What will the styrofoam program look like for my building?

All Styrofoam will be collected in a clear bags and that clear bag will be placed at the loading dock where all the other recycling bins are located.

Will there be a cost involved for participating in these program?

There is a small cost involved for your department, you will be responsible for managing the program(s) within your building. This includes segregation of the materials, bagging and taking it out to the designated location of the building’s loading dock.

Who will arrange for the soft plastics labeled bin at the loading dock of my building and when will it be emptied?

Municipal Services’ Waste Management will place a bin and label it for “Soft Plastics” at your building’s loading dock, it will be emptied out at the same time as the other recycling is picked up from the loading dock of you building.

Who will be collecting the soft plastics and styrofoam from within the building?

The collection of soft plastics and Styrofoam from within the building, placing them in a clear bag and getting that bag to the designate location at the loading dock will be the responsibility of the department and or building occupants.