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. Since Return and Earn was introduced in 2017, litter from drink containers that are eligible for the scheme has fallen in volume by 52% and over 10 billion drink containers have been returned via the return point network.

Return and Earn allows anyone who returns an eligible drink container to an approved NSW Collection Point to receive a 10 cent refund.

There are currently 621 return points available across NSW. Keep an eye on for locations near you.

The collection points include reverse vending machines and centres, automated depot sites, donation stations and over the counter drop-off at selected 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 are 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 visit the Return and Earn website or call 1800 290 691.

How much has been collected through return and earn? 

Since the scheme was introduced in 2017 over 280 million containers have been returned to be recycled through Return and Earn locations in Penrith:

Number of containers collected includes:

  • PET – 87,472,738
  • HDPE – 3,456,592
  • Glass – 62,154,433
  • Aluminium - 123,377,120
  • Liquid paperboard – 6,345,501
  • Steel – 157,059

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