Materials recovery facility

Recyclable materials collected from recycle bins in Logan go to a Materials Recovery Facility (MRF). This is where we sort materials into categories and prepare them for transport and sale.

The VISY MRF at Gibson Island sorts roughly 13,125 households’ worth of recycling every day. They also sort commercial and industrial recycling.

The MRF sorts our recycling into five main categories:

  1. paper and cardboard
  2. aluminium
  3. steel cans and aerosols
  4. glass bottles and jars
  5. plastic containers and bottles.

Sorting processes

The MRF uses seven sorting processes to remove waste and sort recyclables into categories.

  1. Manual pre-sort – this is where we manually remove contaminating items
  2. Star screen sorting – fans and shafts push paper and cardboard forward, while bottles, cans and containers fall backwards
  3. Glass removal – Glass is sent to a beneficiation plant to be sorted by colour
  4. Steel magnet – rotating magnets pick up steel cans and drop them into a separate bunker
  5. Eddie current – An electromagnetic field repels aluminium cans off the conveyor belt
  6. Optical sorting – infrared sensors and air jets sort plastic types 1 (PET) and 2 (HDPE).
  7. Manual sorting – other plastic types are sorted manually.


Wherever possible non-recyclable items should not be placed in recycling bins as this is considered contamination. At the material recovery facility there are processes to remove contamination, however contamination can be difficult and expensive to remove and can make some of the recyclable materials un-recyclable.

You can help by making sure you only put the correct items in your recycle bin. If you put contaminating things in your recycle bin, you could reduce the effectiveness of our sorting.

Common contaminants, which should never be put in our recycle bins, include:

  • plastic bags
  • nappies
  • ceramics
  • broken glass
  • glass other than jars and bottles
  • food.

Please do not put your recycling in a bag or put a bin liner in your recycle bin. The MRF cannot sort recycling in bags, so the whole lot will be classed as contamination and sent to landfill.