Local councils across NSW are a valued partner in delivering the NSW container deposit scheme, Return and Earn. As landlords of return points providing access to your community; supporters actively encouraging locals to participate; or sharing in the refund from containers collected through kerbside recycling to funnel back into your community, councils are vital to shifting community attitudes to litter and recycling and ultimately the success of the scheme.
Local Council Toolkit & Resources
This Council Toolkit has been developed to help local government engage with your communities on the Return and Earn scheme. It is full of information and resources to help understand how Return and Earn works and the benefits of recycling eligible drink containers through the scheme. It also includes content and assets to assist councils during the scheme’s peak season in summer when residents often contact their local council for information.
LGA network volume reports
Exchange for Change (EfC), the scheme coordinator for Return and Earn, publishes six-monthly local government area (LGA) network volume reports that list the total volume and the tonnage of drink containers returned for recycling through the return point network.
- Return and Earn LGA volume report – (1 December 2017 – 19 November 2023) (.pdf, 149kb)
- Return and Earn LGA volume report – half yearly report (ending June 2023) (.pdf, 256kb)
- Return and Earn LGA volumes report – half yearly report (ending Dec 2022) (.pdf, 251kb)
- Return and Earn LGA volumes report (1 December 2017 – 20 November 2022) (.pdf, 378kb)
- Return and Earn LGA volumes report – Half yearly report (ending June 2022) (.pdf, 248kb)
- Return and Earn LGA volumes report (ending March 2022) (.pdf, 142kb)
- Return and Earn LGA volumes report half yearly report (ending Dec 2021) (.pdf, 248kb)
Historical six-monthly reports for LGAs are also available on the EfC website.
Council Impact Calculator
Use our new calculator to find out the positive environmental impacts of drink container recycling in your LGA, including energy, water and carbon output savings as well as waste diverted from landfill. Use the Volume Reports above to find the number of containers from your LGA.
Return and Earn local donation partners
Return and Earn donation partners are schools, sports clubs, charities and community groups featured on their local Return and Earn machines for a period of six months.
This round of local donation partners can receive container donation refunds from customers and supporters until 22 October 2023 simply by selecting the donate option on the machine screen.
Download the Return and Earn local donation partners to find out the local donation partners listed on the machines in your area and promote them to your community to help them fundraise with Return and Earn.
Fund sharing arrangements
For the benefit of your ratepayers, as a local council you can arrange to share the container refunds with the Material Recovery Facility (MRF) that collects and/or sorts household recycling.
MRFs receive a refund on every eligible container they collect and/or source through the council kerbside recycling system. MRFs are required to negotiate a refund sharing arrangement with councils that supply their kerbside material.
As a local council entering in to a MRF negotiation, we recommend you seek your own independent legal advice. You’ll find helpful resources and information on the Office of Local Government website.
Other useful information
Please visit the following links to find some more relevant information:
Hosting a return point
A local council may enter into a commercial agreement with the network operator, TOMRA Cleanaway, to host a return point. Contact TOMRA Cleanaway for more information.