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Return Point types
Return and Earn machine
The self-service Return and Earn machines allow you to feed your containers into the chute - plastic containers into the plastics chute and glass containers into the glass chute. The machine reads the container barcode and will only accept eligible containers. All other containers are rejected and will need to be placed into yellow recycling bins.
Automated Depots are staffed bulk container return centres. At a depot, there are machines called ‘singulators’ that can sort and count containers in bulk. They can process any number of containers, but this is the best type of return point for returning larger volumes, of500 containers or more. Depots issue refunds while you are there, by either cash refunds or electronic funds transfer (EFT).
Drop and Go is another convenient way to return your containers. Save time by bagging your containers and dropping them off before you head off. You don’t need to wait while your containers are recycled – our staff will do that for you. Your refund or donation will then appear on your Return and Earn app once the containers are counted.
Return and Earn Centre
Return and Earn Centres are indoor locations with six self-service machines to feed your containers into the chutes. Four lightweight machines are for plastic bottles, aluminium cans and cartons, and two glass machines are available for glass containers. The machine read the container barcode and only accept eligible containers. All other containers are rejected and need to be placed into a yellow recycling bin.
Over the counter
These are local businesses, such as corner stores and newsagencies, who participate in Return and Earn and accept small quantities (usually less than 100) of eligible containers over the counter in return for a cash refund.
A Donation Station is a machine to donate eligible drink containers. Donation Stations do not give a refund and instead donate the refund to a selected charity. Generally located at Service NSW offices, you will have the option to donate to a state-wide charity or local community group.
Get to know the return points
Reverse Vending Machines
Self service, available in many locations
Ideal for up to 500 containers
- Direct bank transfer (via app)
- PayPal (via app)
Staffed and offers additional services
Ideal for any no. of containers
Over the counter
Staffed and good for cash-in-hand refunds
Ideal for <100 containers
Self service and donation only
Ideal for on-the-go returns*
*Donation stations cannot take glass