Accepted Items

Battery Recycling

Council provides free drop-off points for domestic quantities (<5kg) of hand-held batteries at:

  • City Library
  • Earlville Library
  • Manunda Library
  • Smithfield Library
  • Stratford Library
  • Babinda Library
  • Edmonton Library (via Hambledon House)
  • Spence Street Administration Building (Council Chambers)
  • Waste and Recycling Transfer Stations


  • AA, AAA, C, D and all other common household battery types
  • Removable battery packs from power tools, mobile phones and laptops

Not accepted:

  • Lead acid batteries e.g. Car batteries
  • Lead acid batteries can be recycled free of charge at your nearest Transfer Station.


Portsmith Transfer Station only accepts domestic quantities of less than 250kg of small, manageable bundles, with a maximum length of package at no more than 2400mm, which must be managed as specified by law. For more information on these legal requirements, visit the Queensland Government website on asbestos waste obligations.

As specified by law, asbestos waste must be double-wrapped in 0.2mm thick plastic bags or sheeting, sealed with tape and labelled, and double wrapped to prevent dust from escaping. There are also laws surrounding the transport of asbestos. At Portsmith Transfer Station residents will be required to unload the material into a special asbestos bin. There are private landfill sites in Cairns that accept asbestos in commercial quantities. Consult the Yellow Pages for further information.

Car bodies

Car bodies are accepted at Portsmith, Smithfield and Gordonvale Transfer Stations. All wheels and tyres should be on the car (spare can be put inside the vehicle). All doors, seats, engine parts, engine or boot covers, which are part of the vehicle, can be put inside the vehicle. No other waste should be inside the vehicle. If the vehicle has an auto gas tank, this must be removed. The vehicle should be drained of all oil and fuel and have the battery taken out.

Cairns Regional Council does not provide a supply collection service for car disposal. Refer to the Yellow Pages for businesses that provide this service.

Chemical drums (drumMUSTER)

Cairns Regional Council has joined forces with drumMUSTER to provide a way to safely dispose used chemical containers. Drums must be emptied and triple rinsed as per drumMUSTER requirements. The drum must pass inspection upon entry into the transfer station and have the drumMUSTER container logo on it.

For further information please visit drumMUSTER.

E-waste (electronic waste)

Cairns Regional Council residents can, as part of the National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme, recycle e-waste (televisions and computers) at Portsmith and Smithfield transfer stations for free.   The service will enable householders and small business the ability to dispose of up to 15 acceptable electronic equipment items per delivery free of charge.

Accepted scheme items:

  • Televisions & Monitors (all types)
  • Computers (laptops, desktops, notebooks, iPads, tablets, gaming consoles, servers etc.)
  • Computers accessories including: network devices, hard drives, cables, CD/DVD Drives,
  • Keyboards/Mice, iPods, Multi-media speakers, power supplies, UPS, printed circuit boards, printers, scanners and multi-functional devices

Please note:

  • Other metal kitchen & household appliances with electronic components, such as microwaves, white-goods and kettles are accepted free of charge as scrap metal at all transfer stations.
  • All other electrical goods and household appliances can be placed into separate collection areas at all transfer stations (fees may apply).  Ask the transfer station staff if you are not sure which bin to put it in.  These items will be recovered for resale where possible.

Please refer to for further information.

Mobile phones and accessories (MobileMuster)

As part of the MobileMuster mobile phone product stewardship program, Cairns Regional Council residents can recycle their old mobile phones and accessories through Portsmith, Smithfield, Gordonvale and Babinda Transfer Stations for FREE.

Accepted scheme items:

  • all brands of mobile phones
  • their batteries
  • their battery chargers
  • accessories including cases, headphones etc.
  • mobile wireless broadband devices

Find out more information about the MobileMuster scheme.


Cairns Regional Council residents can, as part of the Paintback Product Stewardship Scheme, recycle waste architectural and decorative paint and packaging.  Paintback is funded through a 15 cent levy on eligible paints at the point of purchase and is available to both trade and household customers.

Cairns Regional Council now has two authorised Paintback collection points:

  • Portsmith Transfer Station – 35-51 Lyons St, Portsmith
  • Smithfield Transfer Station – Lot 1 Dunne Rd, Smithfield

Paintback has a limit of up to 100 litres of acceptable paint per visit in secured containers of 20 litres or less.

For large stockpiles of volumes greater than 100 litres please contact Paintback directly on (03) 9670 3076 or via for alternative solutions for safe and efficient collection.

Accepted scheme items:

  • Interior and exterior architectural paint
  • Deck coatings and floor paints
  • Primers, undercoats and sealers
  • Stains and shellacs
  • Varnishes and urethanes (single component)
  • Wood coatings
  • Packaging

Please note:

  • Paintback is not designed or approved to accept industrial and specialist coatings.
  • Cairns Regional Council accepts up to 20 litres per visit of other paint types not covered by the Paintback collection scheme.

Find out more information about the Paintback scheme.

Last updated: 25 June 2018