Return and Earn

Return and Earn

The NSW Government’s Container Deposit Scheme, Return and Earn, started on the 1 December 2017. It aims to reduce drink container litter. About 160 million drink containers created litter in 2014-15. Return and Earn allows anyone who returns an eligible drink container to an approved NSW Collection Point to receive a 10 cent refund. Return and Earn will help to reduce litter in the environment and help the NSW Government achieve its goal to reduce litter volume by 40 per cent by 2020.

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.

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 casks for 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

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. 

For more information about the scheme please download the State Government Fact Sheet, visit the Return and Earn website or call 1800 813 887.

How much has been collected through return and earn? 

From 1 December 2017 to 30 November 2020, a total of 154,796,430 containers have been returned to be recycled through Return and Earn locations in Penrith:

Number of containers collected:

  • PET – 48,077,267
  • HDPE – 2,082,754
  • Glass – 38,805,524
  • Aluminium - 65,293,527
  • Liquid paperboard – 3,441,099
  • Steel – 57,224
  • Other/ other plastics – 39,035

Well done, Penrith! Thanks for never wasting a chance to return your containers, let’s keep it going.