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Projects and investments Gibson Island recycling upgrades

Gibson Island's state-of-the-art optical sorting saves 20 kilograms of waste for all Queensland homes from landfill

The $48 million upgrade to our recycled paper mill on Gibson Island has increased recycling and reduced waste ending up in landfill. We are diverting up to 39,000 tonnes of extra material from landfill annually—covering the equivalent of approximately 2,500 Suncorp stadiums.

The upgrade includes a new state-of-the-art paper optical sorting plant. We’re using cutting edge paper optical sorters to get more contamination from the mixed paper stream than just mechanical sorting. By doing this, we’re driving the contamination rate down to approximately two per cent.

Gibson Island Opening Event_02

This technology processes mixed paper from the hundreds of thousands of household kerbside bins Visy collects, maximising the recovery of this material and turning it into 100% recycled paper.

The 100% recycled paper made here is sent to the our Hemmant site, where it is manufactured into packaging for some of Queensland’s most beloved brands and over 20 million boxes for north Queensland banana growers.

In the fuel preparation plant, we further sort pulper and mill rejects with eddy currents, magnets and optical sorting. The remaining material—that we can’t recover and recycle—is shredded and sent to the boiler. By upgrading to a multi-fuel boiler, we can now use pulper rejects—that would otherwise go to landfill—to power the mill. This is further reducing landfill and emissions.

The upgrade was made possible following a $16 million investment from the Queensland Government. This project created over a hundred jobs during construction and 11 ongoing jobs.

Recycling all of Australia's kerbside paper

Our upgrade secures Queensland’s mixed paper recycling into the future—recycling approximately 25% more kerbside paper. Along with our drum pulper recycling facility in Coolaroo, Victoria, we can recycle every piece of kerbside paper and cardboard in Australia into new packaging products.

The Federal Government’s Waste Export Ban for cardboard and mixed paper is scheduled to come into place on 1 July 2024.

Paper optical sorting facility sign outside of site

Project milestones