NSW Container Deposit Scheme

Return and Earn is the state’s largest litter-reduction initiative and will help to reduce the almost 160 million drink containers littered in NSW communities every year.
Drink containers make up almost half of the volume of litter in NSW.  
Return and Earn is part of the NSW Government’s commitment to reducing litter volume in NSW by 40 per cent by 2020. 

ReturnAndEarn logo

Collection points are being established in the Snowy Monaro region
Bombala, Cooma and Jindabyne have sites ready to exchange eligible drink containers for a 10 cent refund as part of the NSW Government's container deposit scheme Return and Earn. 

Bombala Return and Earn collection point
The collection point is an over the counter (OTCs) site and located at the Bombala Powers IGA, 128 Maybe Street, Bombala NSW. Open 8am - 12noon, seven days per week.

Cooma Return and Earn collection point
The collection point is a reverse vending machine (RVMs) and located in the carpark of the Woolworths Cooma, 12-20 Vale Street, Cooma NSW.
7am - 10pm, seven days per week.

Jindabyne Return and Earn collection point
The collection point is a reverse vending machine (RVMs) and located in the carpark of the Lake Jindabyne Hotel, 21 McLure Circuit, Jindabyne NSW.
Open 8am - 6pm, seven days per week.

Eligible drink containers include most 150ml to three litre beverage containers (with some exceptions) that are predominately consumed away from home and found in the litter stream. Containers should be empty, uncrushed, unbroken and with the original label attached.

For more information about Return and Earn visit www.returnandearn.org.au
Please forward all issues, faults and general enquiries to NSW CDS Scheme Return and Earn Customer Service Centre

Phone: 1800 290 691
Website: returnandearn.org.au
Key features of Return and Earn are: 
  • when the scheme is fully rolled out, there will be more than 500 collection points across the state, including in remote towns of more than 500 people and at 270 sites across the Greater Sydney Region 
  • the 10-cent refund at reverse vending machines will be provided as a voucher for in store redemption, electronic transfer, cash or may be donated to a community group. 
  • eligible containers include most glass, cans, plastic and paperboard drink containers between 150 millilitres and three litres – those most often found in the litter stream.  
Container materials that may be eligible for a refund include: 
Eligible containers include most 150mls and three litres (with some exceptions). Eligibility is based on containers most commonly found in the litter stream and that broadly align with similar container deposit schemes in South Australia and Northern Territory.

  • Plastic
  • Glass 
  • Aluminium 
  • Steel 
  • Liquid paperboard (cartons)
Return and Earn containers eligible GREEN
PET image
HDPE image
Glass image
Glass image 72
Aluminium image
Liquid paperboard image
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 isn't eligible for a refund, please use a recycling bin.
Which containers are not eligible under the scheme?

150ml to 3 litre containers NOT eligible for 10-cent refund include: 

  • Plain milk (or milk substitute) containers 
  • Flavoured milk containers
  • Pure fruit or vegetable juice containers
  • Glass containers for wine and spirits 
  • Casks (plastic bladders in boxes) for wine and casks for water
  • Wine sachets of 250 millilitres or more 
  • Containers for cordials, and concentrated fruit/vegetable juices 
  • Registered health tonics.
Return and Earn containers not accepted RED
How will this benefit my community? 
The main beneficiaries of the scheme will be the environment and the community. Over the next 20 years, the Scheme is expected to result in: 

  • 1.6 billion fewer beverage containers being littered
  • Almost 11 billion fewer beverage containers ending up in landfill  
  • 12.6 billion more beverage containers being recycled.  
How do I participate? 
Consumers can now exchange an eligible container at an approved collection point to receive a 10 cent refund per container. Containers should be empty, uncrushed, unbroken and with the original label attached. 
There are more than 500 collection points across NSW that may include reverse vending machines (RVMs) in your local shopping centre or shops, over the counter sites, existing recycling centres, or a combination of all. To find your nearest collection point click here.
Impacts on human health and wellbeing
Litter can have serious impacts, including:

  • environmental - litter damages natural environments and harms terrestrial and marine wildlife
  • visual - litter makes places look unsightly and uncared for, and attracts more litter
  • human health - litter like broken glass and syringes can injure people. The presence of litter makes it more likely that other antisocial behaviours will occur, like graffiti and property damage   
  • resource - easily recyclable and valuable resources, like drink containers, are lost when people litter. Even if littered items are subsequently collected, they are often too contaminated to be recycled   
  • economic - a 2015 survey of local government, state agencies, private land managers and community groups found that more than $162 million a year is currently being spent on managing litter in NSW. That is money that could be spent on other things.   
Environmental impacts
Litter damages natural environments and harms terrestrial and marine wildlife. Did you know:

  • In 2016, Clean Up Australia Day volunteers removed an estimated 6,000 tonnes of rubbish from parks, waterways, beaches and bushland. This was down from 6351 tonnes in 2015, however, drink containers made up nearly 30% of litter collected, up from 19% in 2015.   
  • Greenhouse gas emissions from landfill in NSW account for 3.4Mt of carbon dioxide, representing 3% of Australia's greenhouse gas emissions.   
  • Refilling bottles at a Sydney Water refill station located near a skate park in Liverpool, NSW resulted in 13,616 x 500ml refills, saving 11,347 plastic bottles from entering landfill in May 2017.