Accepted Items

Battery recycling

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

  • Council's Customer Service Centre (Council Chambers), 119-145 Spence Street Chambers)
  • All Cairns Libraries branches
  • Hambledon House Community Centre, Edmonton
  • 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. These can be recycled free of charge at your nearest Transfer Station.


Portsmith Transfer Station accepts domestic quantities of less than 175kg 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, visit the comprehensive Queensland Government website on asbestos.

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 Transfer Station only.

The following must be completed prior to the vehicle being delivered to site:

  • Fuel or LPG tank and batteries must be removed
  • All fluids drained
  • All tyres deflated
  • All doors, seats, engine parts, engine or boot covers (which are part of the be vehicle) can be put inside the vehicle.
  • No other waste should be inside the vehicle.
  • Vehicle Disposal Declaration Form ( PDF, 0.16 MB ) must be completed to verify the conditions of disposal have been met.

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)

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)

Residents can, as part of the National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme, recycle e-waste (televisions and computers) at Portsmith, Smithfield, Gordonvale and Babinda Transfer Stations for free.

The service enables householders and small business to dispose of up to 15 acceptable electronic equipment items per delivery free of charge.

Accepted scheme items:

  • Televisions and 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/mouses, iPods, multi-media speakers, power supplies, UPS, printed circuit boards, printers, scanners and multi-functional devices.

Please note:

  • Other metal kitchen and 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, 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.


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.

We have two authorised Paintback collection points:

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

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: 16 June 2020