Waste education

Covid-19 (Coronavirus) update

Please note, the Waste and Resource Recovery Education Program and related tours are currently unavailable due to COVID-19 (Coronavirus) restrictions.

Waste education support

Cairns Regional Council provides a number of different services to help Cairns schools and community groups reduce, reuse their waste and recycle right. These include presentations for students, teachers and community groups, free Waste & Resource Recovery facility tours (via the Rediscovery Centre) and free school recycling services.

Schools are entitled to the following services:

  • 240 Litre wheelie bin recycling services
  • Waste & resource recovery tours of Council facilities
  • Waste & resource recovery presentations (in-school)
  • Information for waste and recycling school audits
  • Waste education resources

Further information about school recycling services

Council is offering a free recycling service to all schools within the Cairns region.The allocation of recycling bins has been based on the number of students per school, serviced during the school terms. If your school does not have recycling, please contact  Customer Service on 1300 69 22 47 or email the waste services team: wasteservices@cairns.qld.gov.au

Waste and Resource Recovery Tours

Have you ever wondered what happens to waste and recycling in Cairns?

Book a Council facilities excursion or an in-school presentation to find out!

Cairns Regional Council also offers schools and community groups guided tours of its Waste & Resource Recovery facilities including the Materials Recovery Facility (MRF), Advanced Resource Recovery Facility (ARRF) and the CRC Buy Back Shop. Along the way, participants will get a behind the scenes look at each step of the recycling sorting process, from the receival of recyclables into the MRF, right through to the bailing of products ready to be transported to market. Our facilities boast a dedicated education room called the “Rediscovery Centre” which offers an air-conditioned, safe, birds-eye view of the MRF processing plant as well as high quality cameras located inside the machinery allowing visitors to see up-close how everything works.

For bookings, questions or more information, please contact Customer Service on 1300 69 22 47 or via the email address: wasteservices@cairns.qld.gov.au

Waste education resources

To add value to your school's Waste Education program, check out our Resources below including our Waste Activity Sheets in the 'For Download' section:

  • Recycle Right Cairns Regional Council's Recycle Right website helps you figure out which common household rubbish items can/can't be recycled and tells you which bin to put them in.
  • Recycling your waste around the house How and why to reduce waste in your wheelie bins.
  • Reuse to reduce waste Re-using things is great way to reduce our waste. See how and why to reuse your items instead of throwing them away.
  • Our Region's waste / recycling story This is a great educational tool for schools. A complete detailed description of what happens to waste and recycling in the Cairns Region.
  • Our recycling story A great educational tool for schools. Provides more detailed on recycling in the Cairns region.
  • Contaminated recycling Contaminated recyclables such as gas bottles, dirty nappies, sharps and hazardous waste can be harmful and dangerous to the people who sort out your rubbish at the materials recovery facility.
  • Recycling hazardous items Hazardous items are dangerous for the people who sort our rubbish and recyclables in the Cairns region.
  • Sorting out the silly season Watch this video to learn about taking care of the environment by recycling thoughtfully during the Christmas and New Year period.

Additional information:

  • Planet Ark has multiple education resources for teachers and students available
  • ABC Television's War on Waste program website has 25 education resources to assist students with Reducing, Reusing and Recycling their waste better
  • Cool Australia has a series of curriculum aligned lesson plans and resources for educators on waste reduction and greater sustainability

Our educational services aim to reinforce Council's philosophy that 'there's no place like our place - let's keep it that way'.

Last updated: 16 June 2020