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 Local Government Area (LGA) network volume reports which detail the total volume and tonnage of containers returned through the Return and Earn return points.

Historical six-monthly reports for LGAs are also available on the EfC website.

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 reverse vending machines (RVMs) for a period of six months.

This round of local donation partners can receive container donation refunds from customers and supporters until 16 October 2022 simply by selecting the donate option on the RVM screen to donate their empty bottles and cans to a local cause.

Download the Return and Earn local donation partners to find out the local donation partners listed on your area’s RVMs 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:

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, TOMRA Cleanaway, to host a return point. Contact TOMRA Cleanaway for more information.

Contact us

If you have any questions or you would like to learn more, please call the scheme coordinator Exchange for Change on 1800 813 887 or email us at contactus@returnandearn.org.au.