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Return and Earn Scheme

NSW Container Deposit Scheme Information for residents

The NSW Government’s container deposit scheme, Return and Earn, is being introduced to reduce drink container litter. About 160 million drink containers were littered in 2014–15.

What is Return and Earn?

From 1 December 2017 anyone who returns an eligible drink container to an approved NSW Collection Point will receive a 10 cent refund. Return and Earn will help to reduce litter in the environment and help the Government achieve its goal to reduce litter volume by 40 per cent by 2020.

How do I participate?

Take your eligible empty container to a Collection  Point for a 10-cent refund. Collection Points will include Reverse Vending Machines (RVM) and over-the-counter manual sites. Alternatively, you can donate your containers to a charity which can redeem the refund to raise money.

How will it work?

The Scheme Coordinator, Exchange for Change, will oversee the Return and Earn scheme as the financial and reporting manager. The Network Operator, TOMRA-Cleanaway, will be responsible for establishing and managing collection points and collection infrastructure across NSW.

Can I still use my yellow bin?

Yes. Kerbside recycling remains important to our community, and Return and Earn will complement it. Kerbside recycling is particularly suitable for containers that are typically consumed at home; some of which aren’t eligible for a refund via Return and Earn. Refunds from eligible containers collected via kerbside  recycling may result in downward pressure on waste charges or improved waste services in your area.

What containers are eligible?

Most drink containers between 150 millilitres and three litres that are purchased in NSW will be eligible, with some exceptions. A NSW refund mark will be introduced but until then any container of 150mls or more that includes a South Australian or Northern Territory refund mark is eligible. Further details can be found  at:

Eligible containers include those most commonly consumed out of the home and found in the NSW litter stream.

What containers are not eligible?

Containers that are not included in the scheme and, therefore, cannot be exchanged for a refund are:

 plain milk (or milk substitute)

 flavoured milk, pure fruit or vegetable juice in containers of 1 litre or more

 casks of wine or water in containers of 1 litre of more

 glass containers for wine and spirits

 sachets for wine of 250 millilitres or more

 containers for cordials, and concentrated fruit/vegetable juices

 registered health tonics.

Where is my nearest Collection Point?

From 1 December 2017 more than 500 collection points will be rolled out across NSW. TOMRA Cleanaway has secured Woolworths as its first retail partner to roll-out Reverse Vending Machines at or near Woolworths stores. Further retail partners will join the scheme as it rolls out. To help people find their closest site, a collection point map is available online.

Where can I find more information?

Information and updates are available at: and

CDS Fact sheet_Residents

CDS Fact sheet_Collection Points