Return and Earn

PLEASE NOTE: From 15 September 2021, Return and Earn return points in the Camden LGA are reopening. When open, they can be accessed for returns in line with the latest Public Health Orders.  Anyone visiting a return point must ensure they comply with the latest Public Health Orders including checking-in via the QR code displayed, wearing a mask, maintaining social distancing of a least 1.5 metres from others, and practise good hygiene. 
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Bottles, cans and cartons make up a large proportion of the litter on our streets, beaches and green spaces.  Tackling the problem costs NSW millions of dollars every year.  Return and Earn is a way for us all to help solve the litter problem and be rewarded for our efforts.

How it Works

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1. Collect eligible bottles and cans

Not all bottles, cans and cartons are included in Return and Earn. To help you work out what can and can’t be returned, use our quick container checker or search the container database. Remember, even if a container isn’t eligible for a Return and Earn refund, it can still be recycled through your household recycling collection.
 
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2. Take your containers to a return point

We currently have over 600 Return and Earn return points across New South Wales. There are different types of return points  and the best one for you could depend on how many bottles, cans and cartons you are returning and how you would like to receive your refund.
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3. Earn a refund or make a donation

Every eligible bottle, can or carton you return is worth 10 cents.  Reverse Vending Machines offer you cash vouchers, electronic payment (via the myTOMRA app) or the option to donate.  Over the Counter sites offer you cash refunds and some offer the opportunity to donate.  Automated Depots offer cash refunds and some offer electronic transfers.

Eligible Containers

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Container materials that are ELIGIBLE for a refund include:

Most 150ml to 3L drink containers will be eligible for a 10 cent refund at an approved NSW collection point.

  • 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 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

Return Points

PLEASE NOTE: From 15 September 2021, Return and Earn return points in the Camden LGA are reopening. When open, they can be accessed for returns in line with the latest Public Health Orders.  Anyone visiting a return point must ensure they comply with the latest Public Health Orders including checking-in via the QR code displayed, wearing a mask, maintaining social distancing of a least 1.5 metres from others, and practise good hygiene. 

Reverse Vending Machines

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. Below are local Reverse Vending Machines:

  • Woolworths Camden - 35 Oxley Street, Camden 2570
  • Woolworths Narellan - 326 Camden Valley Way, Narellan 2567
  • Dan Murphy's Narellan - 30 The Old Northern Road, Narellan 2567
  • Oran Park Podium - 351 Oran Park Drive, Oran Park 2570
  • Woolworths Spring Farm - 254 Richardson Road, Spring Farm 2570
  • Macarthur Centre for Sustainable Living (MCSL) - 1 Mount Annan Drive, Mount Annan 2567 
  • Emerald Hills Shopping CentreEmerald Hills Blvd, Leppington 2179 


Automated Depot

Red Frog Recycling Pty Ltd

Address: 39 Rodeo Road, Gregory Hills 2557

Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday 8am - 5pm

Phone: (02) 8731 1565

Visit Return and Earn for other collection locations 


Frequently Asked Questions

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.

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.

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. 

What do I do if the machine is jammed?

For problems with a reverse vending machine contact TOMRA on 1800 290 691 or email help@tomracleanaway.com.au.

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.

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.

How can my organisation apply 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

How do I become a donation partner?

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.

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.

For more information, visit Return and Earn.

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