Your recycling's in the bin. What happens next?

Our Environment Team took a quick trip to the SKM Recycling Plant in Coolaroo. It's where all of Brimbank's collected recycling goes for sorting. Here's a few facts, stats and tips they brought back!

SKM Recycling

  • SKM processes approximately 1000 tonnes per day of materials
  • Tonnage increase to 1200-1300 tonnes per day over the christmas/new year period
  • SKM has 14 conveyor belts for recycling and sorting materials
  • Employs approximately 100 staff
  • SKM has four recycling facilities: Coolaroo, Mornington, Laverton, and Geelong

Recycling Facts

  • A Coke bottle has 6 different plastics and it all can be recycled!
  • Major sources of contamination in Brimbank's recycling are: plastic bags, clothes, bricks, wood, pillows, nappies, gas bottles, and garden waste.
  • 10% of collected recycled material is sorted as waste and goes to Boral Landfil. We're improving! It's down from 13.4%
  • Aluminium is the most sought after commodity as it generates the highest dollar value
  • Glass is sorted by colour: green, flint (clear), and amber (brown)
  • 50% cardboard product is recycled locally through VISY (they also accept plastic number 1 PET)
  • Rigid plastic containers such as pot plant containers, plastic toys, kitchenware, buckets can now be recycled
  • Majority of the baled products goes to export markets (China, Hong Kong, Korea, and Jakarta)
  • All glass is processed locally at Spotswood.


  • The best way to recycle plastic bottles is to squash them and put the lids back on. This lets the recycling trucks get more in and carry more away!
  • You don't need to wash your tins/bottles/containers. Save water instead!
  • You can recycle your beer bottle lids! They're extracted by powerful magnets.

Don't Put These in Your Recycling!

  • food waste/scraps
  • plastic bags
  • soft plastics - shrink wrap, bread bags, plastic wrapping from clothes or nappies
  • lawn clippings, branches and leaves
  • polystyrene
  • nappies
  • bricks/wood/rubble/concrete
  • ceramics/crockery
  • pyrex/cookware
  • chain/rope/string/fishing line/electrical wire: it clogs up the sorting machines!
  • clothing
  • wire coat hangers


Now Become a Brimbank Gem! Take the Brimbank Gems Pledge!
Now you know all about recycling, why not be rewarded for it? Make the pledge ‘My bin is Plastic Bag Free’. If you've got a ‘perfect’ bin you'll be rewarded as a Brimbank Gem!

Take the pledge now!

There are prizes to be won, so start practicing excellent recycling now and you too could be recognised as a Brimbank Recycling Gem!