Container Deposit Scheme - Return and Earn

C15010 RE Press 262x188 300dpi


The NSW Government is delivering the largest litter reduction scheme ever introduced in NSW, Return and Earn.

Return and Earn will roll out from 1 December 2017 and will help to reduce the 160 million drink containers littered in our environment each year. 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.

Key Features are:

  • when the scheme is fully rolled out, there will be more than 500 collection points across the state.
  • the 10-cent refund at reverse vending machines will be provided as a voucher for in store redemption, electronic transfer, cash or may be donated to a community group.


Reverse Vending Machines - Open hours - 7am - 10pm 

  • Woolworths Camden - 35 Oxley Street, Camden NSW 2570
  • Woolworths Narellan - 326 Camden Valley Way, Narellan NSW 2567
  • Dan Murphy's Narellan - 30 The Old Northern Road, Narellan NSW 2567
  • Oran Park Podium - 351 Oran Park Drive, Oran Park NSW 2570
  • Woolworths Spring Farm - 254 Richardson Road, Spring Farm NSW 2570
  • Macarthur Centre for Sustainable Living (MCSL) - 1 Mount Annan Drive, Mount Annan NSW 2567 - Open hours: 8am - 7pm

Automated Depot

  • Red Frog Recycling Pty Ltd -39 Rodeo Road, Gregory Hills NSW 2557

  Open hours: Monday to Sunday 8am - 5pm

  Phone: (02) 8731 1565

For other collection locations visit - Return and Earn

How to use the Machine

Below is a short video on how to use the Reverse Vending Machine (RVM).

 Instruction Panel Final Artwork How to claim 2

Containers that can be returned for a refund


Most 150ml to 3L drink containers will be eligible for a 10 cent refund at an approved NSW collection point. Container materials that may be eligible for a refund include:

  • Glass
  • Plastic
  • Aluminium
  • Steel
  • Liquid paperboard (cartons)

Containers should be empty, uncrushed, unbroken and have the original label attached. Containers that are crushed, broken or have the label missing will not be eligible for a refund. Wine, spirits, cordial and plain milk containers are generally not eligible.

Any container that carries the SA or NT refund mark is most likely eligible.

Containers that cannot be returned for a refund


Containers not eligible for a refund include:

  • Plain milk (or milk substitute) containers
  • Flavoured milk containers of 1L or more
  • Pure fruit or vegetable juice containers of 1L or more
  • Glass containers for wine and spirits
  • Casks (plastic bladders in boxes) for wine or water of 1L or more
  • Sachets for wine of 250ml or more
  • Containers for cordials and concentrated fruit/vegetable juices
  • Registered health tonics

How to become a Collection Point

Any organisation can apply to be a Collection Point Operator.

To register your interest in running a Collection Point, visit the TOMRA-Cleanaway website and fill out their online form at: TOMRA-Cleanaway


Frequently Asked Questions

Donation partners and how do I become one?

The first donation partners of Return and Earn have been announced as The Cancer Council, St Vincent de Paul, Surf Life Saving NSW and Planet Ark. From 1 December these groups will feature on reverse vending machines across the state so that people can choose to donate their refunds to these groups.

There are opportunities for other interested groups, large and small, to become donation partners and feature on the machines under a rotation system.

Charities, community and sporting groups, schools and other not-for-profit organisations can visit Return and Earn to learn how to register their interest.

Can I still use my recycle bin?

Yes, kerbside recycling remains very important to our community and Return and Earn is designed to complement this system. Eligible containers can continue to be placed in the kerbside system and kerbside recycling will continue to be important for containers that are typically consumed at home, some of which are not eligible for a refund within Return and Earn. Although you will not personally receive the refund if you place eligible containers into your recycling bin.

Can I crush my cans and bottles?

No. Containers need to be empty, uncrushed, unbroken and with the original label attached. Containers need to be verified as eligible before a refund is paid.

Can I take old containers to a collection point?

The eligibility of beverage containers generally aligns with containers that are eligible under the SA or NT schemes. Many will therefore have the SA or NT scheme refund marking. The NSW labelling will come in gradually by 1 December 2019.

Do I need to remove the lid from my container?

No, bottles with lids can go through RVMs without difficulty. The lids are a valuable resource and will be recycled too.

What can I do if my container is broken, crushed or can't be read by the machine?

Broken, crushed or containers without labels will not be eligible and will not receive the 10c refund. These containers can be disposed of via your recycling bin.

What do I do if the machine is jammed?

For problems with a reverse vending machine contact TOMRA on 1800 290 691 or email

What do I do if there is rubbish at the collection point?

Most machines are located on private land. For issues relating to dumped rubbish contact the site owner where the collection machine is located.

What is a Reverse Vending Machine (RVM)?

A reverse vending machine (RVM) is the opposite of a drink dispensing machine. A person places their empty drink container into the machine, the container is scanned to verify it is eligible. These machines do not hold cash for security reasons.

How do I get paid my refund?

Three options are available to receive a refund payment:

  1. Donating to a selected a charity
  2. Receiving the refund into your registered PayPal account
  3. Via a voucher that can be redeemed with a retail partner for cash or used towards your purchase

How can my school or community group use Return and Earn to fund raise?

  • 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 TOMRA-Cleanaway to set up and run collection points in exchange for a service fee. 

Does Council have a collection point?

No. Council is currently discussing options with TOMRA about locations for possible collection points. More information will be available in the coming months.

Why are my containers increasing in price, and who decides on what the increase in price is?

The increase in price is to cover the 10 cents embodied within the rebate, logistics through the supply chain, and the cost of managing the scheme by the Network Coordinator, Exchange for Change. The specific pricing structure for containers can be found at: Exchange for Change, as well as the schedule for when the changes will come into effect.