Return and Earn return points in Greater Sydney will reopen in stages. When open they can be accessed for returns in line with the latest Public Health Orders.

From 15 September 2021 return points in Blue Mountains, Camden, Canada Bay, Hawkesbury, Hornsby, Hunters Hill, Inner West, Ku-ring-gai, Lane Cove, Mosman, Northern Beaches, some suburbs of Penrith, Randwick, Ryde, Sutherland, Sydney, The Hills, Waverley, Wollondilly and Wollongong local government areas will commence reopening.

From 22 September 2021, some automated depots in Bayside, Blacktown, Canterbury-Bankstown and Liverpool local government areas will commence reopening. Please check online for details. 

From 29 September 2021 reverse-vending machines (RVMs) and OTCs in Bayside, Blacktown, Burwood, Campbelltown, Canterbury-Bankstown, Cumberland, Fairfield, Georges River, Liverpool, Parramatta, remaining suburbs of Penrith, and Strathfield local government areas will commence reopening.

Return points in regional NSW remain open.

Anyone visiting a return point must ensure they comply with the latest Public Health Orders including checking-in via the QR code displayed, wearing a mask, maintaining social distancing of a least 1.5 metres from others, and practice good hygiene.

We recommend checking the status of your nearest return point online or via the myTOMRA app before visiting and avoiding peak times where possible.

More information on how Return and Earn is responding to COVID-19 including details of our covid-safe measures is available here. 

21 MAY 2021

Lava lamps and a karaoke machine: disability clients fundraise for their centre with Return and Earn

Late last year clients of Tweed Heads’ Empower Disability Outreach program suggested that as a centre they start collecting bottles and cans for the Return and Earn container deposit scheme.

Community Support Manager Vanessa Riggs says she thinks it was Lindsey Scaysbrook, one of the regular day clients, who first suggested it. Although Lindsay’s sister Kerry Scaysbrook, also a client, says the idea came from the whole group.

After the suggestion was made, staff and clients visited the local Return and Earn Reverse Vending Machine to check out how the scheme operated. Vanessa says that as they watched people deposit containers, staff and clients talked about how they could make it work for their centre.

It wasn’t long before container returns became a popular activity at Empower Disability Outreach, and Vanessa says they all “love it”.

“Clients and staff bring containers from home,” says Vanessa. “The staff at the Allied Health centre next door have started bringing them in. We’ve all just jumped on it.”

In barely a couple of months they had returned 3,000 containers – and raised $300.

Containers are stored in bags at the centre until they are returned – Lindsey and Kerry usually go with staff to deposit containers. “When it’s full , we take them down, we scan the containers, and put them in the chute. Then we come back and do it all over again,” says Kerry.

The refunds go towards purchases for the centre, but it’s the clients who decide exactly what is needed. “They chose things they’ll get joy from. It’s always about what our guys want,” says Vanessa.

So far the centre has purchased a karaoke machine, lava lamps, gardening supplies and more.

Vanessa says an advantage of using Return and Earn for the centre is that it naturally ties into life skills programs like budgeting, and even growing food and cooking.

“We have a gardening program, so we’ve spoken to clients about how recycling helps the environment,” says Vanessa. “Container refunds have paid for the garden beds and some seedlings.”

Lindsey says they grow “little red tomatoes” and other vegetables and herbs that are used in the cooking sessions the centre runs.