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Where can eligible containers be returned?

Return and Earn will roll out three types of collection points across NSW: reverse vending machines (RVMs), over-the-counter collection points and automated depots. You can get your refund in cash at over-the-counter collection points and automated depots. Vouchers are available at reverse vending machines which can be exchanged for cash at a retail partner.

Collection points are rolling out. Details coming soon.

Which containers can be refunded?

Return and Earn has been introduced to reduce drink container litter across NSW. As such, containers that are eligible under the scheme are those most commonly found as litter.

Which containers can be returned for a refund?

Return and Earn Group Eligible Reduced Green Bottle

Most 150ml to three litre drink containers will be eligible for a 10 cent refund at an approved NSW collection point. Container materials that may be eligible for a refund include:

  • Glass
  • Plastic
  • Aluminium
  • Steel
  • Liquid paperboard (cartons)

Containers should be empty, uncrushed, unbroken and have the original label attached. Wine, spirits, cordial and plain milk containers are generally not eligible.

If a container isn't eligible for a refund, please use a recycling bin.

Which containers aren't eligible for a refund?

Return and Earn Group Non Eligible

Containers that can’t be deposited for a refund include:

  • Plain milk (or milk substitute) containers
  • Flavoured milk containers of one litre or more
  • Pure fruit or vegetable juice containers of one litre or more
  • Glass containers for wine and spirits
  • Casks (plastic bladders in boxes) for wine or water of one litre or more
  • Sachets for wine of 250ml or more
  • Containers for cordials and concentrated fruit/vegetable juices
  • Registered health tonics

Frequently asked questions

Most 150ml to three litre beverage containers are eligible for a 10 cent refund provided they are made from glass, plastic, aluminium, steel or liquid paperboard. Containers should be empty, uncrushed, unbroken, and have the original label intact. The eligibility of beverage containers generally aligns with containers that are eligible under the SA or NT schemes. Many will therefore have the SA or NT scheme refund marking if they are currently sold in those markets.

Containers should be empty, uncrushed, unbroken and have the original label attached. Wine, spirits, cordial and plain milk containers are generally not eligible. If your container does not have a label it may not be recognised as an eligible container by a reverse vending machine.

If a container isn’t eligible for a refund, please use a recycling bin.

Return and Earn has been introduced to reduce drink container litter across NSW. Wine bottles and spirits in glass containers are predominantly consumed at home and are not regularly found in the litter stream.

There will be more than 500 Return and Earn collection points across NSW. Many collection sites have already been installed from Yass to Spring Vale and from Camden to Casula. The roll out of Return and Earn is a massive logistical exercise. The Network Operator TOMRA Cleanaway is finalising collection point locations which will be announced as they are finalised.

Yes, there will be three types of collection points: reverse vending machines (RVMs), over-the-counter collection points and automated depots. You can get your refund in cash at over-the-counter collection points and automated depots. Vouchers are available at reverse vending machines which can be exchanged for cash at a retail partner.

A reverse vending machine is a machine where you can return empty eligible containers like bottles and cans for recycling. When you insert your empty containers into the chute at the front of the machine, it will scan your container to ensure it is eligible for a refund. When you’ve finished depositing the containers, choose your preferred refund option on the electronic screen.

When you return containers at a reverse vending machine, you can obtain a refund in three ways:

  1. Receive a voucher to be redeemed for cash or an in-store credit at a participating retail partner (such as a Woolworths)
  2. Register to receive a direct payment to your designated bank account via PayPal
  3. Donate the refund to charities and community groups linked to the reverse vending machines
The reverse vending machines do not hold cash.

If a container isn’t eligible for a refund, please use a recycling bin.

Download the myTOMRA App from Google Play or iTunes App Stores and create a TOMRA profile. The app comes with a personal membership card that you scan on the machine to get the refunds digitally into your TOMRA profile. Open the app and follow the prompts to link your PayPal account to the app before you redeem any eligible containers.

Once you’ve linked your PayPal account, scan your unique barcode in the myTOMRA app at the RVM to log in. Place all your containers in the RVM one at a time, then select PayPal on screen. Your refund will be transferred to your PayPal account in moments.

Reverse vending machines will provide the option to donate your refund to charities or community organisations. You can select from a list of charities on the machine’s screen. Participating charities and community organisations are being selected, and more information will be available soon.

Eligible containers can continue to be placed in the kerbside system as Return and Earn will complement kerbside recycling. Kerbside recycling is geared toward containers you consume at home, some of which aren’t eligible for a refund under Return and Earn. If you put eligible containers in kerbside recycling, the refunds may go towards improved waste services in your area.

Containers are collected and processed through a sorting centre in western Sydney, then sold into both domestic and export markets for recycling.