The NSW Government’s largest litter reduction scheme ‘Return and Earn’ started on 1 December, 2017. The Container Deposit Scheme enables people to ‘return and earn’ by returning used beverage containers to nominated collection points to receive a 10c return per container.


Did you know?

44% of all litter discarded in NSW is caused by drink containers. In 2014-15 alone, 160 million drink containers were littered in NSW costing millions of dollars to clean up.

Return and Earn is a NSW Government Scheme and while Council is not directly involved, we encourage residents to use the Scheme to recycle drink containers away from home and help reduce litter in the environment.


How do I ‘return and earn’?

500 collection points are being rolled out across NSW from December 1 2017. Keep an eye on for locations near you.

The collection points will include reverse vending machines, depot sites and over the counter drop-off at local shops. Depending on the type of collection point you visit you may:

  • Receive your money directly
  • Receive your money electronically
  • Be given a voucher to redeem at a participating retail outlet
  • Or have the option to donate your 10 cent refund to a pre-selected charity.

Containers should be empty, uncrushed, unbroken and with the original label attached.


What drink containers are accepted?

Most drink containers of sizes between 150ml and 3L will be accepted in exchange for a 10-cent refund, when presented to an approved NSW collection point. Container materials that may be eligible for a refund include:

  • PET
  • HDPE
  • Glass
  • Aluminium
  • liquid paperboard
  • steel

The following drink containers are excluded:

  • plain milk or milk substitute containers
  • flavoured milk containers of 1 litre or more
  • pure fruit or vegetable juice containers of 1 litre or more
  • glass containers for wine and spirits
  • casks (plastic bladders in boxes) for wine and water of 1 litre or more
  • sachets for wine of 250 millilitres or more
  • containers for cordials, or concentrated fruit and vegetable juices
  • registered health tonics.


Can I still use my yellow recycling bin?

Yes. You can continue to place your drink containers in your yellow lid bin for recycling as usual. Kerbside recycling remains very important to our community. Return and Earn is designed to complement kerbside recycling by reducing litter and encouraging people to recycle drink containers when away from home.

Please note, if you put your eligible containers in your household recycling bin, you won’t receive the 10 cent refund.


What happens to the 10 cent refund if I recycle the containers in my yellow recycling bin?

All our yellow bin recyclables will be taken to Visy (our contracted materials recycling facility) as usual.

As this scheme is new, we have 12 months to negotiate with Visy on how the container deposit scheme funds will be re-allocated. It’s likely the money received from return and earn containers will be used to off-set the cost to the community for providing our kerbside recycling service.

For more information about the scheme please visit and the NSW EPA website.