Container deposit scheme

The NSW Government's Container Deposit Scheme Return and Earn started on 1 December 2017.

What is Return and Earn?

Return and Earn is a NSW recycling scheme that allows anyone who returns an eligible drink container to an approved collection point to receive a 10 cent refund.

The aim is to reduce the 160 million drink containers littered in our environment each year.

 How does it work?

Take your eligible empty container to a Collection Point for a 10-cent refund. 

Collection Points will include Reverse Vending Machines , like the one at Addison Road Community Centre, and over-the-counter sites.

To find a collection point near your go to the Return and Earn website

How do I get paid my refund?

You will have three options to receive a refund payment:

  • Donating to a selected charity
  • Receiving the refund into your registered account
  • Taking a voucher into a retail partner to either redeem for cash or use towards your purchase

What containers can be recycled for a refund?

Most empty 150-millilitre to three litre beverage containers will be eligible for a 10 cent refund when presented to a collection point. 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.

Return and earn non-eligible bottles containers

What containers can't be recycled for a refund?

Containers that are not included in the scheme and 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

These drinks are predominantly consumed at home and are not found in the litter stream.

Return and earn eligible bottles containers

Do I need to remove the lid from my container?

No. The lids are a valuable resource and will be recycled too. We don’t want lids ending up as litter.

What is a Reverse Vending Machine?

A reverse vending machine is the opposite of a drink dispensing machine. You place an empty drink container into the machine, the machine scans the container for eligibility and you receive a voucher or donate to a charity.

These machines do not hold cash for security reasons.

Can I still use my recycling bin at home?

Yes. The Container Deposit Scheme is designed to complement at home recycling systems. You can still place eligible containers in your recycling bin as the recycling service will continue to be important for containers that are typically consumed at home.

You will not personally receive the refund if you put containers in kerbside recycling.

Who do I call if my collection point is not open or my RVM is broken?

TOMRA-Cleanaway has a hotline number for people to call with any queries, complaints or feedback about collection points. Please call 1800 290 691 or email

Where can I find out more information?

Information and updates are available at EPA website and Return and Earn website.

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Page last updated: 28 Mar 2019