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NSW Container Deposit Scheme


​Return and Earn, the NSW Government's container deposit scheme, aims to reduce more than 160 million drink containers littered in NSW every year.

The scheme came into place on 1 December 2017 and involves three types of collection points for people to return their eligible drink containers. Containers should be empty, uncrushed, unbroken and with the original label attached.

Council has been actively looking for suitable sites to host the Return and Earn vending machines. When investigating possible options Council needs to consider:

  1. The size of the machine – the machines are the equivalent of five car spaces, plus another three spaces are required for circulation and storage of additional waste bins for the litter that is inevitably left behind.
  2. Noise - The machine needs to generally be located more than 20 metres* from residential properties as there is a substantial amount of noise created by the bottles being deposited into, and removed from, the machine. *Noise impacts are determined on a site by site basis as distance alone may not reduce acceptable levels of noise.
  3. Pedestrian and vehicular access – The reverse vending machines have a constant stream of customers so access to the machine requires an area safe for pedestrians and motorists. The waste trucks emptying the machines up to twice daily also need to be able to manoeuvre around it.

While a suitable location is yet to be found, Council continues to work with the Return and Earn providers on possible options for the Lane Cove area.

What are the types of collection points?

There are three main types of collection points that will accept eligible containers:
1. Reverse vending machines
2. Over-the-counter manual sites
3. Automated depots.

Lane Cove’s nearest Return and Earn reverse vending machine is at Woolworths Marsfield, corner of Epping and Balaclava Road. Check under the 2066 postcode on the Return and Earn website for all the collection point details.

What containers are eligible?
Most empty 150-millilitre to three litre beverage containers will be eligible for a 10 cent refund when presented to an approved NSW collection point. There are some exceptions, and containers not eligible for a refund are described in the section below. Containers should be empty, uncrushed, unbroken, and have the original label intact.

Container materials that may be eligible for a refund include containers made from:

  • Glass
  • Plastic
  • Aluminium
  • Steel
  • Liquid paperboard (cartons)

Containers that are not included in the scheme and, therefore, do not qualify for a refund are:

  • Plain milk (or milk substitute) containers
  • Flavoured milk containers of one litre or more
  • Pure fruit or vegetable juice containers of one litre or more
  • Glass wine bottles
  • Glass spirit bottles
  • Containers for cordials, and concentrated fruit/vegetable juices
  • Registered health tonics.



The above information has been made available via the Return and Earn website.