Return and Earn
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
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.
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.
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.
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:
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 Centre - Emerald Hills Blvd, Leppington 2179
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
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.
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.
No, bottles with lids can go through RVMs without difficulty. The lids are a valuable resource and will be recycled too.
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.
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.
For problems with a reverse vending machine contact TOMRA on 1800 290 691 or email email@example.com.
Most machines are located on private land. For issues relating to dumped rubbish contact the site owner where the collection machine is located.
Three options are available to receive a refund payment:
- Donating to a selected a charity
- Receiving the refund into your registered PayPal account
- Via a voucher that can be redeemed with a retail partner for cash or used towards your purchase
- 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.
No. Council is currently discussing options with TOMRA about locations for possible collection points. More information will be available in the coming months.
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
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.
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.