Following our recent waste audit, we asked, “what happens to this recycling once it leaves the building?” It was important for us to learn the answer to better educate our building’s tenants about what should and shouldn’t be included in their recycling bins. We found out that the recycling is first taken a waste transfer station in St Peters before being transported to the Visy Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) at Smithfield. So, to learn more we took a private tour of this facility to see the sorting for ourselves!
We saw first-hand what happens to items that are placed into our building’s recycling bins: which are recycled on-site (and how), and which are viewed as contamination to be removed from the recycling stream and sent to landfill. Whatever is left over is either sent for further processing and recovery at other facilities or collected to be used as fuel for energy recovery. This video from Visy is a great summary of what we saw in action.
Whether any individual item can be recycled from our building depends entirely on the processes and specialised sorting machinery present at Visy Smithfield- because that's where it all ends up! One valuable learning for our building was that their disposable coffee cups are not recyclable at this facility. The same relationship between recyclability and service availability exists throughout Australia, so learn which services are available in your area to make sure you recycle right.