As a local council you play an important role in Return and Earn:

  • You can inform your community about Return and Earn and their opportunities to participate.
  • You can secure benefits to ratepayers by arranging to share in refunds paid to Material Recovery Facility operators who collect (and/or) sort their kerbside recycling waste.
  • You could host one or several return points on council land.

Information sharing

Return and Earn is a great opportunity for residents to get involved in helping to reduce litter in their community. It also presents an opportunity for schools, sports clubs and community organisations to fundraise.

As a local council you’re a key source of information for residents and we encourage you to include details about Return and Earn on your website, social media, in newsletters and in other correspondence. You can explain how Return and Earn works, highlight local return points and inform residents how to get involved. To get started, download the fact sheets below. Additional template content is available by emailing the NSW Environment Protection Authority Public Affairs at

Fact sheet: How to use a return point (.pdf, 57kb)

Fact sheet: Fundraising with Return and Earn (.pdf, 55kb)

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.

This arrangement must be approved by the council by 1 December 2018 or the Scheme Coordinator will not be obliged to pay refunds to the MRF.

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:

Material recovery facility processing refund protocol

17-25 Container Deposit Scheme and waste management contracts

Hosting a return point

A local council may enter into a commercial agreement with the Network Operator to host a Reverse Vending Machine.

Click here for more information on return point partner opportunities.

Schools, Sports Clubs & Community FAQs

  • What is a Donation Partner?

    A Donation Partner is a not-for-profit organisation such as a charity, school, sports club or community organisation that has entered into an agreement with the Network Operator TOMRA to be listed on the Reverse Vending Machines. Refunds from eligible containers can be donated to Donation Partners by anybody who chooses to do so. Simply select the donation option when using a Reverse Vending Machine.

  • What groups can be listed on a Reverse Vending Machine as a Donation Partner?

    All groups listed on a Reverse Vending Machine must fit the eligibility criteria. They must be a not-for-profit organisation. There are two types of Donation Partners:

    Major Donation Partners are large organisations that have a NSW (or wider) presence. They will appear across the state-wide Reverse Vending Machine network.

    Local Donation Partners have a predominantly local presence where the Reverse Vending Machine is located. They will appear on Reverse Vending Machines within their area of operation. Money raised by Local Donation Partners must remain in the area they are located in.


  • How long does a Reverse Vending Machine listing last?

    Major Donation Partners are listed across all Reverse Vending Machines for three-month cycles.

    Local Donation Partners are listed across local Reverse Vending Machines for three-month cycles.

  • Is there a formal process for collecting donated containers?

    No. Community groups should encourage their members to donate eligible containers to their organisation, and these can then be redeemed for a 10 cent refund per container at any return point.