How it works

From 1 December 2017, you can receive a 10-cent refund when you return an eligible drink container for recycling to a Return and Earn collection point, such as a TOMRA reverse vending machine.

Return and Earn is a sustainability initiative by the NSW Government that will help to achieve a 40% reduction in the amount of litter across the state by 2020. 
Eligible drink containers

Eligible drink containers

Most 150ml to 3-litre drink containers are returnable if they are made from glass, plastic, aluminum, steel or liquid paperboard (cartons). Containers should be empty, uncrushed, unbroken and have the original label attached. 

Wine, spirits, cordial and plain milk containers are generally NOT eligible. If a container is not eligible for a refund, please use a recycling bin. For more information about the scheme and what’s eligible, visit the Return and Earn website.

What is a reverse vending machine

What is a reverse vending machine?

A reverse vending machine is an automated collection point where you can return your empty beverage containers like bottles and cans for recycling. The machine gives a 10 cent refund for every eligible container returned.

This is what makes it a “reverse” vending machine: instead of putting in money and getting out a product (like at a food vending machine), you put a product in and get out a monetary value.

How to use a reverse vending machine

How to use a reverse vending machine

1. Insert your empty containers into the chute at the front of the reverse vending machine.
2. When you’re finished, select your preferred payout method on the screen:

Digital refund: Download the myTOMRA app and link it to PayPal, to transfer the refund to your account.
Retail refund: Take a printed voucher from the machine for a cash refund or a saving at participating retailers.
Donate your refund: Choose on the screen the charity or community fundraiser to donate your refund to.

As you insert your containers, the reverse vending machine identifies the type of packaging and sorts the containers into different storage areas behind the machines, ready for pick up by Cleanaway.

Why use a reverse vending machine

Impact of reverse vending

Reverse vending machines are a key part of container deposit systems, which see 70% to almost 100% of all drink containers returned by consumers. No other collection system comes even close to beating it! By collecting drink containers separately from other waste or recyclable materials, the containers can be kept sufficiently clean to be turned back into new containers and recycled multiple times.

Reverse vending machines are fast, easy and user-friendly. Find your nearest TOMRA reverse vending machine.