Recycling centre trial

CRC Recycling Centre

A drop-off recycling centre unit trial has been established in Cairns (from December 2019), enabling residents to bring in small household items that are hard to recycle. The recycling centre is designed for items that cannot be recycled through fortnightly yellow lid bin recycling collection and should not be disposed of through weekly red lid bin waste collection. Collected items are then sent to specialist recyclers (see list of accepted items below).

Why the trial?

Council's yellow lid bin recycling collections are only for household packaging waste - paper and cardboard, and containers made of glass, plastic, steel and aluminium - nothing else.

The core concept behind the Recycling Centre trial is to raise awareness that specialist recyclers and collection schemes exist that residents can tap into.  Taking responsibility for our own waste footprint, by seeking alternatives to landfilling difficult to recycle items is key in ensuring our kerbside recycling remains high quality, reduces material sent to landfill and achieves a cleaner and greener region for future generations.

Who can take part?

The Recycling Centre is limited to use by residents only, for small volume drop offs, allowing for up to 20 items per day. Council's network of Transfer Stations allows for larger volumes of materials download the full list of acceptable items at transfer stations and associated costs ( PDF, 0.09 MB ) here.

Residents and businesses have the opportunity to setup their very own 'Recycling Centre' systems. Please see further information about specialist recycling programs such as Australian Terracycle Recycling and further local opportunities via the Recycling Near You Website.


The recycling centre is located at the Cairns Regional Council Administration Centre foyer, 119-145 Spence Street, Cairns.

Items can be dropped off between 8.00am – 5.00pm, Monday to Friday (closed public holidays).

Instructions for use

  • Please consider staff safety and do not bring hazardous items into the Customer Service Centre.
  • Only small household items can be dropped off in small volumes (limit of 20 items per visit)
  • Do not open the doors or handle any items from the unit.
  • Small volumes only. For large volumes, contact the specialist recyclers directly or visit Portsmith Transfer Station (only 5 minutes drive from Council's customer service centre).
  • No commercial items accepted – contact the specialist recyclers directly.

Items accepted

Products AcceptedSpecific ExamplesSpecialist RecyclerLarge Volumes
Coffee PodsNespresso Pods only

Nespresso Pod Recycling Program

** For alternate pod systems Terracycle Coffee Pod Programs

Light GlobesFluorescent only lights/small tubesFree at Council Transfer StationsFree at Council Transfer Stations
Toner CartridgesBrother, Canon, Epson, HP, Konica Minolta, Kyocera inkjet cartridges, laser cartridges

Officeworks Cairns Program

Planet Ark Cartridge Program

Also free Council Transfer Stations
Toothbrushes & paste tubesAny brand of toothbrush, toothpaste tubes and caps, electric and battery toothbrush headsTerracycle Colgate Program 

Beauty products

Make up, cosmetics packaging, brushes, hairbands, clipsTerracycle Beauty Products Program 
Small E-waste itemsLaptops, notebooks, palmtops, tablets, keyboards, joysticks, mouses, trackballs

E-Waste Australia - Cairns

Recyle near you information

Also free at Council Transfer Stations
DVDs/CDs & tapesCassette tapes, CDs, DVDs, Blu Ray discs, floppy disks, memory sticks and external hard drivesTerracycle Media Storage Program 
Household cablesHousehold power & audio cablesFree at Council Transfer StationsFree at Council Transfer Stations
BindersPlastic and cardboard bindersTerracycle Binders Program 
StationeryOffice Supplies - Staplers, Scissors, pensTerracycle Office Supplies Program 

Household AA, AAA, C, D and all other common household battery types, including button cells.  Removable battery packs from power tools, mobile phones and laptops.  No large batteries

Officeworks Battery Recycling Program

Also free at Council Transfer Stations & Libraries
X-RaysSilver based X-ray films (no envelopes or packaging)Eco-cycle X-ray Program 
Mobile Phones All mobile phones sold by Australian retailers Mobile Muster Program: Cairns Telstra, Optus, Vodaphone Stores, Casphone Earlville, Officeworks, TAFE CollegeAlso free at Council Transfer Stations
Last updated: 13 January 2020