Recycling Discovery Hub


Project Commenced: November 2017
Project Completed: May 2018
Floor Area: 75m2

Thylacine’s role

  • design management
  • interpretive design
  • graphic design
  • lighting design
  • fabrication and installation


2019 Interpretation Australia award

Project overview

Thylacine designed and fabricated the Recycling Discovery Hub for the ACT government, in close collaboration with waste expert and educator Robbie Ladbrook. The discovery centre, opened in May 2018, and aims to educate and engage the public with recycling and waste processing.

Located adjacent to the recycling centre, the Hub offers a captivating view of the plant’s inner workings, complemented by large TV screens displaying areas not easily visible – the view was contrasted by the installation of a large external view window that framed the ever-growing mountain of unrecyclable waste on the adjoining site. The window was fitted with a translucent graphic to help explore the layers of waste within the garbage heap.

Despite its modest size, the space is brimming with interactivity, discoverable moments and unique interpretation. Designed to accommodate school groups and adult visitors the space challenges visitors’ preconceptions and sparks a renewed enthusiasm for learning. Fixed displays and interactive elements are complimented by a range of programmable elements allowing the space to be programmed for different learner groups.

All elements within the interpretive area were selected as recycled materials or as items that would be readily recycled at the end of life – demonstrating a closed loop lifecycle for material management, a key message of interpretation. The simple kitchenette demonstrated wet and dry waste recycling principals.

The centre piece is a virtual reality interactive which allows visitors to tour and explore the inaccessible parts of the recycling centre, and is complemented by touchable displays, waste samples, and tactile learning experiences.

The centre proved very popular being visited by hundreds of school and community groups, prior to being razed to the ground in December 2022 in a fire that is believed to be caused by the incorrect disposal of lithium batteries.

Photography by Ben Guthrie