Where does it all go?

Have you ever wondered what happens to your waste and recycling?


After collection, the garbage trucks deliver their loads to the Clyde Transfer Terminal, where waste is compacted and loaded into shipping containers. Each container can fit about three garbage truck loads full of waste. The waste is then transported by rail to Veolia's Woodlawn Bioreactor Landfill (near Goulburn). The bioreactor landfill speeds up the decomposition process of waste and captures the landfill gases. The gases are then converted into green electricity which is fed back into the power grid.


After collection the paper and mixed containers are delivered to Kimbriki Resource Recovery Centre. From Kimbriki the recyclables bulk hauled to the iQRenew materials recycling facility (MRF) at Somersby to be sorted into material types, both by hand and using machines, as they move along a conveyor belt sorting recycling.


Strong jets of air are used to separate plastics from the other mixed containers before being sorted further into three categories PET (eg. drink bottles); HDPE (eg. milk bottles); and 'plastics other' (eg. ice cream cartons, margarine tubs). The PET & HDPE sorted plastics are then compressed, shredded and washed before being melted, cooled and chopped into small granules which can be spun into fibres to make new plastics. The 'other' plastics are baled and sold as mixed plastics.


Glass is sorted by hand or using optical sorters. Optical sorters can sort pieces of glass as small as a fingernail into colour type. There are three main colour types - green, brown and clear. Blue glass is recycled with green glass. After initial sorting, the glass is then crushed and cleaned to form a product called ‘cullet’. The cullet is crushed again and melted in a furnace at 1500°C. The molten glass is then poured into moulds to become new jars and bottles.

Steel and aluminium

Cans are sorted using a giant magnet. They are then squashed into blocks and taken to a smelter, where they are shredded, removed of any paint and heated to 700°C in a furnace to form a liquid. The liquid is poured into moulds and solidified into blocks, which are sent to rolling mills where they can be flattened and turned into new cans.


Paper is sorted into three categories: newsprint, cardboard and mixed paper. It is then compressed into a bale for transporting. Once it arrives at the paper mill it is then mixed with water to form pulp. Air is passed through the pulp to produce a foam which removes ink, or chemicals are used to separate the ink, which is then washed away. The pulp is poured onto a wire screen to drain and form a sheet, which is sent through heavy rollers which dry and straighten the paper. The paper is finally turned into rolls, ready to become new paper products.


Greenwaste is delivered to Suez Belrose transfer station. From Belrose the green waste is transported to Spring Farm where it is shredded and composted.

The end products are mulch and soil conditioners. This process takes approximately 20 weeks.

Food waste is not permitted in green waste bins. Please home compost/worm farm all food waste or alternatively place in the general waste bin.