How Recycling Works

To find out what happens after you put your recycling into your bin watch the short video below. 

Show Transcript

We all know how important recycling is, so if we’re going to get it right on bin night, we have to make sure we recycle correctly. HOW we recycle is just as important as WHAT we recycle.

Empty your bottle and containers before they’re put out and when you take your recycling out to your kerbside bin, make sure you put the items in loose, so they can be sorted later. And speaking of later have you ever wondered what happens to your recycling after the truck picks it up from the kerbside?

Well, once the truck is full, it’s taken to a special place for sorting called a MRF. A MRF is a “Material Recovery Facility”.
Here your recycling is off-loaded to begin the sorting process into different recycling categories.

All the recyclables are loaded onto a conveyor belt, where they begin their long journey through the MRF. The MRF operates using a combination of high tech sorting machines. The machines cannot sort incorrect items like bags of rubbish, bagged recyclables and food scraps. These need to be sorted by hand. This is difficult and time consuming.

That's why getting it right on bin night IS important, because putting the wrong things in the bin can cause problems.
Different machines sort different types of recycling like paper, cardboard, steel, aluminium, plastic, and glass.

The sorted recycling is then transported to different facilities that process recycling, so that new products can be made from the materials you’ve recycled on bin night. For example, paper and cardboard is pulped and used to make many different products, like newspapers and sturdy cardboard boxes.

Steel and aluminium are melted down and turned into new products like soft drink cans and other metal containers.
Plastics are shredded and turned into things ranging from polar fleeces and wheelie bins. Glass is melted down and made into glass bottles…and some of it even gets used for making road surfaces!

So THAT’S what happens to your recycling after your bin is picked up. Now you can see why it’s really important that you do YOUR bit for recycling by getting it right on bin night.

Together, we can ALL save valuable resources AND help reduce the amount of waste going to landfill. For more information, go to

For more information on how a Material Recovery Facility works go to:


SKM Recycling

Visy Recycling

State Government Of Victoria