Home About Contact FAQ Search Submit

Turning those bottles and cans into cold hard cash

Since December 2017 communities across New South Wales have been able to join our SA and NT neighbours to redeem the 10c deposit we now pay when we purchase beverages.

The scheme in NSW is called Return and Earn

So how does it all work?

From 1 December 2017 you will pay a 10c deposit on soft drinks, bottled water, flavoured milk, mixed drinks and beers which come in containers sized  150ml-3L.

You then have the choice - you can simply throw away the container when it is empty, or you can cash it in.

Redeemable containers include glass, plastic, aluminium, steel or liquid paperboard [e.g. poppers].

To check to see if the drink container you have is eligible, look for a barcode and the 10c Refund reference. This will either be printed directly onthe container or on the label.

Elligible Containers

Image credit: Return and Earn NSW

How Do I return?

There will be more than 500 Return and Earn collection points across NSW.

There are three types of 'fixed' collection point:

  • a Reverse Vending Machine [RVM]
  • over the counter collections
  • depots [which take bulk redemptions]

To find one near you go to Return & Earn

During events such as festivals, concerts and Clean Up Australia Day there will also be pop-up collection points, run by groups such as Citizen Blue

When you redeem your container you have the choice to pocket the 10c or donate it to the charity of your choice.

From 26 February one of the official charities you can choose is Clean Up Australia - so it you want to support our work to keep bottles and cans out of our precious environment you can donate your redemptions to Clean Up at any RVM across the state.



Image credit: Return and Earn NSW

What's In and What's Not

To be able to redeem your 10c your container will need to be:

  • empty
  • uncrushed
  • unbroken
  • have its label attached

The image below shows how to identify a redeemable container.


Image credit: Return and Earn NSW


But what about those bottles and cans you find when you are out and about or on Clean Up Australia Day? 

Many of them are dirty, some are dented.

If the barcode is legible and the label is attached they may just be OK.

This Tips and Hints piece might help you decide.

What happens to returned containers?

Beverage containers made up more than 27% of the rubbish reported by Clean Up volunteers in 2017.

The glass, metals and plastic are valuable resources.

To learn more about their value as a recyclate stock check out our fact sheets

Containers that are collected through the NSW Container Deposit Scheme are processed through local sorting centres after which they are sold as recycling stock.

So when you cash in your containers everyone benefits - you get your 10c back, that bottle or can is not going to end up as rubbish in one of our precious waterways and the recycling industry gets good quality stock.



Got a question about Return and Earn? Please see the FAQ or give them a call on 1800 260 691