Waste Management
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What can I recycle in Cook Shire?

You can recycle a wide range of materials, including:

  • Cooking oil
  • Waste engine oil
  • Paper and cardboard
  • Green waste
  • Scrap metal
  • Tyres
  • Lead acid batteries
  • Unprocessed timber
  • E-waste such as televisions, computers and accessories
  • Gas bottles
  • Mobile phones
  • Printer cartridges
  • Fluorescent tubes and bulbs
  • Mixed aluminium, plastic, steel and glass packaging (not bagged)

What type of plastics can I recycle?

You can recycle plastic types 1 to 6 - these include most plastic food and drink containers, CD cases, pots, buckets and personal care and home care bottles (bleach, shampoo etc). Bagged recyclables and soft plastics such as cling wrap, plastic bags and biscuit trays can not be recycled. Please ensure all containers are rinsed, and caps are removed (they can be recycled, but must be removed from the container). These can be taken to your waste transfer station, or deposited UNBAGGED in your nearest recycling skip or cage.

What type of metals can I recycle?

You can recycle most metal food containers, including aluminium and steel food cans, aluminium drink cans, aluminium foil (please scrunch into a ball), chocolate and biscuit tins and aerosol cans. These can be taken to your waste transfer station, or deposited UNBAGGED in your nearest recycling skip or cage.

Where can I recycle?

Recycling skip bins and trailers are a free, user friendly and convenient way to dispose of your UNBAGGED recyclables at any time. Recyclables are also free to dump at all Cook Shire waste transfer stations and landfills during regular opening hours, provided they aren't mixed with general waste.

Recycling facilities are available at:

Racecourse Road (intersection of Charlotte Street), Cooktown
3 May Street (PCYC Cooktown Events Centre), Cooktown
Walker Street (intersection of Hope Street), Cooktown
Foyster Drive (near public telephone booth), Lakeland
Rossville / Bloomfield Road (Hatfield Marketplace), Rossville
West Street, Ayton

It is illegal to dump rubbish in Cook Shire and while the recycling bins and trailers are emptied regularly, if you do find them full, please don't leave your recyclables on the ground. 

Where does my recycling go?

Recyclable containers and packaging are sent to the Cairns Material Recovery Facility (MRF). Cairns MRF is a semi-automated system, where human labour is used to extract obvious contaminants such as bagged recyclables or furniture. The rest of the system is fully automated, with the various recyclables separated and sorted. Other recyclables go to different areas in Cairns or Brisbane to be recycled into different products, such as:

  • Cooking oil - recycled into biodiesel
  • Waste engine oil - recycled into purified oil, used again as diesel or alternative fuel
  • Paper and cardboard - mulched with green waste
  • Green waste - mulched
  • Scrap metal - reprocessed back into steel
  • Whitegoods - gas is recovered and recycled, remained used for scrap metal
  • Tyres - tyre rubber is recycled for use in roads, playground mats, glues and even explosives
  • Lead acide batteries - both lead and acid are extracted and used again
  • Unprocessed timber - mulched
  • Gas bottles - valves removed for ventilation, then used as scrap metal
  • Mobile phones, e-waste, printer cartridges and fluoro tubes - taken apart and sorted into metals, plastics, glass etc and recycled

How much does it cost to recycle?

It does not cost anything to recycle up to 3 cubic metres of mixed recyclables such as paper and cardboard and glass, metal and plastic food containers at either our unmanned recycling skip bins, or your local transfer station. Up to 3 cubic metres of green waste is also free to recycle at waste transfer stations only. More than 3 cubic metres of mixed recyclables will cost $15 per cubic metre, and green waste and cardboard over 3 cubic metres will cost $5 per cubic metre. To judge how much you can waste, approximately four 240L (large) wheelie bins equals 1 cubic metre. 

Waste typeTransfer StationSkip Bin
Mixed recyclables

Less than 3 cubic metres= free

Over 3 cubic metres= $15/m3

Green waste and cardboard

Less than 3 cubic metres= free

Over 3 cubic metres= $5/m3

Not applicable

ABN: 45 425 085 688

10 Furneaux Street Cooktown, Qld 4895

Mail: PO Box 3 Cooktown, Qld 4895

Email: mail@cook.qld.gov.au

Phone: (07) 4069 5444

Fax: (07) 4082 0588

Hours: 8.45am-4.45pm Monday to Friday