Polystyrene is a plastic and can be recycled, but is not often handled at municipal recycling centers due to cost of recycling and the nature of the product. Lightweight polystyrene is difficult to collect and separate, creating complications during collection and processing.
Recyclable polystyrene is noted by the numeral six found on the product within the recycling triangle symbol. In order to recycle plastic materials, they must be grouped with like products. Polystyrene is often mixed with food and paper due to its use, making it difficult to isolate for recycling. It is also bulky and costly to transport. Some larger cities, such as Los Angeles and Toronto, do offer polystyrene recycling at their municipal recycling centers.