Unlike the main competitive insulation materials, polystyrene is easily recycled. Since EPS does not degrade or deteriorate, it can be recycled in several ways at the end of its useful lifetime:
- Added back into new EPS insulation boards,
- Recycled EPS can be moulded into new applications such as coat hangars, flower pots, park benches or fence posts,
- EPS waste can be reground and mixed with concrete to produce prefabricated light weight concrete blocks. Adding EPS regrind even increases the thermal performance of these products.
EPS is collected through a Europe-wide network of collection points, organised both by local authorities and commercial enterprises. Recycling saves money, energy and reduces the impact on the environment. In most EU countries, EPS is not considered waste, but a valuable resource. Producers of EPS have used integrated chain management principles for decades.
Incineration and Energy Recovery
Incineration is a waste treatment process that includes the combustion of organic substances contained in the waste materials. Non-toxic ashes remain after the process. Recovering EPS energetically for heating purposes helps to save fossil resources: 1 kg of incinerated EPS replaces 1,3 liters heating fuel.