Management of Waste

We all have a responsibility to minimize the waste that we produce due to the ongoing long-term effects it has on our environment.

Council is committed to increasing the level of recycling within the shire, reducing the amount of waste going to landfill, ensuring responsible management of waste facilities, and limiting the cost of waste management to residents as much as possible.

The recyclables that are collected at the Mareeba Shire Waste transfer stations are transported to the Cairns material recovery facility where they are sorted for on processing in secondary markets. The only exception to this is glass where Cairns Regional Council has taken the initiative to process and reuse this waste locally.

Mareeba Shire Council’s kerbside waste is transported to the advanced resource recovery centre in Portsmith where it joins kerbside waste from Douglas Shire and Cairns Regional Council.

There, the organic component, such as kitchen scraps and paper, is composted and the product is used beneficially on local farms. The waste that cannot be composted, the process waste, is transported back to Mareeba landfill and RemondisSpringmount Facility for land filling. These landfills are licensed, fully engineered landfills with dedicated environmental control measures such as a liner and a leachate collection system. Environmental monitoring is undertaken routinely. In recent years Qld EHP has undertaken yearly inspections. Mareeba Shire Council takes pride in achieving environmental compliance as demonstrated by the new Wastewater Treatment Plant and environmental closure works for the old Mareeba Landfill.

Minimise the waste that is deposited into landfill by:

  • Composting your food scraps. Compost is a wonderful garden resource.
  • Consider a garage sale or donating any used items such as glasses, toys, furniture that are still in good condition to a charitable organisation.
  • Before you throw it out, have you thought about reusing, retasking, upcycling or giving it to someone who can use it?
  • Still in good condition? You could try selling it. Try a garage sale, an internet service like Gumtree or “Buy, Swap, Sell” pages on Facebook.

Community Reuse and Recycling Directory

Aluminium Cans Give them to a local club like Kuranda Recreation Centre who collect them for fundraising.
Batteries Your leading batteries retailers may have a program in place for recycling these.
Books Kuranda Neighbourhood Centre
Bric-a-Brac Charity shops like Lifeline / St Vincent DePaul’s
Building Materials Try
Anton Demolitions, Machans Beach
Down to Earth, Cairns
Cardboard, paper, newspaper, magazines. Your local kindergarten or school may have a use for these!
Clothing In good condition – Lifeline / St Vincent DePaul’s

Otherwise use them as rags.

EPIRB Battery World, Cairns
E-waste Endeavour, Townsville
Flares (Boating) Cairns Maritime Safety Queensland or Cairns Coast Guard.
Furniture Kuranda Neighbourhood Centre has a furniture exchange program for the Kuranda area

Charity stores such as Lifeline, St Vincent DePaul

Mobile Phones
Paint Try Cairns Regional Council Transfer Stations or North Queensland Resource Recovery
Timber Pallets Try Power of Pallets or local Pallet furniture makers
Plant Pots Try your local roadside plant stalls or local conservation nursery. Please take care that your pots are clean and free of pests.
Shopping bags Supermarket stores usually have a bin for recycling shopping bags near the store front.
Toys Charity shops / kindergartens and schools.

You could also try looking up recycling agents in Cairns.

Want some more ideas? Go to

Mareeba Shire Council is a Reef Guardian Council. This initiative supports the Reef 2050 objective to target the source of marine debris and reduce the volume of debris entering the Great Barrier Reef.

Recycling Information

Where can I recycle?

Council has recycling stations at Mareeba, Kuranda, Julatten, Dimbulah, Mutchilba, Mt Molloy and Mount Carbine. You can take your recyclables to these recycling stations.

How do I recycle?

To ensure your recyclables get recycled and don’t end up in landfill, ensure that items are not bagged. All items should be clean, rinsed out, dry with lids removed.

What can be recycled?

Plastics such as sauce bottles, salad dressing bottles, shampoo and conditioner containers, cooking oil bottles, ice cream containers, water bottles, detergent bottles, cleaning product containers, juice bottles, buckets, pots, yoghurt containers, soft drink bottles, CD jacket covers, milk bottles, motor oil containers.

Glass such as glass jars and bottles, medicine bottles.

Steel and Aluminium such as food containers, aerosol containers, steel food tins, biscuit containers, drink cans.

Cardboard and bulk paper can be placed in the Cardboard Bin at the Mareeba Waste Transfer Station.

Generally paper is not removed from the general waste stream as it is utilised in the composting process at the Cairns Material Recovery Facility

Waste Collection

View information by clicking here.

Transfer Stations & Landfills

View information by clicking here.