Expanded polystyrene

Polystyrene and polyethylene recycling

There are two types we can recycle, expanded polystyrene (EPS) and expanded polyethylene (EPE). These materials contaminate mixed recycling bins and do not break down in landfill. However, through a specialised separate collection both can be recycled. Material is sent to a local processing facility where it is compressed and shipped to local or overseas manufacturers for recycling.

What can be recycled?

EPS material must be collected separately, ensuring it is clean and dry with all contaminants removed (e.g stickers, food, tape, strapping).

Expanded polystyrene (EPS)

EPS is a rigid material coloured or white often used for packaging or insulating food, furniture, laboratory supplies and medical glassware.

Examples of EPS packaging.

What can not be recycled?

Other types, shown below, will not be accepted by the recycler, so must be placed in landfill bins.

No meat trays or similar food packaging.


No peanut shaped loose foam packaging.

Expanded polyethylene (EPE)

EPE is a flexible material often black or white used for packaging various items including furniture and electronic goods.  We have not found a recycling facility in Australia that will accept this material.  This material can only be placed in landfill bins.

Examples of EPE packaging.


Monash departments and on campus retailers:

  • Can take accepted material to a collection point.
  • Book a collection via the maintenance request system SCOUT.
  • Or contact Buildings and Property Division by phone (9902 0222) or email (buildings.property@monash.edu).