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NSW Container Deposit Scheme

From Friday 1 December New South Wales (NSW) will have collection points, including Reverse Vending Machines (RVMs) which will offer a 10-cent refund for eligible containers as part of a new litter reduction scheme. 

How will this benefit my community?

Drink containers make up almost half of the volume of litter in NSW. Return and Earn is part of the NSW Government’s commitment to reducing litter volume in NSW by 40 per cent by 2020. The main beneficiaries of the scheme will be the environment and the community.

Over the next 20 years, the Scheme is expected to result in:

  1. 1.6 billion fewer beverage containers being littered
  2. Almost 11 billion fewer beverage containers ending up in landfill
  3. 12.6 billion more beverage containers being recycled.

What are collection points?

Collection Points ares sites for people to return their eligible drink containers. These will most likely be Reverse Vending Machines (RVMs) placed in locations like shopping centre car parks, or over the counter collection points such as retailers or charity shops.  

What containers are eligible?

Most empty 150-millilitre to three (3) litre beverage containers will be eligible for a 10 cent refund when presented to an approved NSW collection point. There are some exceptions, and containers not eligible for a refund are described in the section below. Container materials that may be eligible for a refund include:

  • PET
  • HDPE
  • Glass
  • Aluminium
  • Steel
  • Liquid paperboard

Containers should be empty, uncrushed, unbroken and with the original label attached.

What containers won't be accepted?

Containers that are not included in the scheme and, therefore, do not qualify for a refund are:

  • Plain milk (or milk substitute) containers
  • Flavoured milk containers of one litre or more 
  • Pure fruit or vegetable juice containers of one litre or more
  • Glass containers for wine and spirits
  • Casks (plastic bladders in boxes) for wine and casks for water of one litre or more
  • Sachets for wine of 250 millilitres or more
  • Containers for cordials, and concentrated fruit/vegetable juices
  • Registered health tonics.

Reverse Vending Machines (RVMs) will automatically reject non-eligible containers. Please dispose of rejected containers responsibly via your regular kerbside collection service. Do not litter.

How do I participate?

From Friday 1 December, consumers can exchange an eligible container at an approved collection point to receive a 10 cent refund per container as a voucher for in store redemption, electronic transfer, cash or may be donated to a community group. Find your nearest collection point by using the online map.

It is important to note:

  • Containers should be empty, uncrushed, unbroken and with the original label attached. 
  • Do not crush containers (cans and bottles) prior to redeeming your refund.
  • Bottles with lids can go through Reverse Vending Machines (RVMs) without difficulty. The lids are a valuable resource and will be recycled too.
  • This scheme does not replace your yellow bin for recylcling.
    Return and Earn is about complimenting kerbside recycling and your yellow bin will continue to be importnant for containers that are typically conusmed at home, some of which aren't eligible for a refund under the Return and Earn scheme. 

How do I become a collection point, or use Return and Earn to fundraise?

To register your interest to run a collection point visit the website of the Network Operator, TOMRA-Cleanaway and fill out their online form.

Schools and community groups can use Return and Earn to fundraise. Charities, schools, community or sporting groups can collect donations of empty eligible containers for the charity or community group to then redeem them at an approved collection point. Charities, community groups and social enterprises can also work with the Network Operator to set up and run collection points in exchange for a service fee. 

More information

The Network Operator, TOMRA-Cleanaway are establishing more then 500 Return and Earn collection points across NSW. If you have any queries, complaints or feedback about your collection point e.g. it is not opened or the Reverse Vending Machine (RVM) is broken, please call 1800 290 691 or email


Last updated on 29 November 2017