Check out our Frequently Asked Questions – detailing everything from what’s eligible to how to get in touch with us.
Donation Partner Enquiries
|1800 290 691|
What containers are eligible for a refund?
As part of the scheme, you can receive a refund for most aluminium, glass, plastic, steel and liquid paperboard beverage containers between 150ml and 3L. A comprehensive database of eligible containers can be found here.
The container refund scheme aims to reduce the amount of beverage container litter in the environment. Eligible containers are most commonly consumed away from home and make up most container litter in the environment.
What containers are ineligible for a refund?
Excluded containers are commonly consumed in the home and can still be recycled either through existing kerbside collection or drop-off services. This includes:
Any beverage container less than 150ml or more than 3L.
Any size or material type of containers for:
- Undiluted cordial
- Fruit or vegetable juice concentrate
- Registered health tonics
- Plain milk
Glass containers of any size for:
- Pure spirits
Containers over 1 litre in size for:
- Flavoured milk
- Pure fruit juice
- Pure vegetable juice
- Cask water
- Cask wine
- Wine sachets of more than 250ml or less than 150ml
What condition do containers have to be in?
- Containers must be empty.
- You don’t have to rinse each container, but it will help you store them cleanly before returning them.
- Keep the label on and don’t crush your container, so it can be accepted by a Reverse Vending Machine.
Do I need to remove lids from containers before taking them to the container refund point?
Preferably, lids should be removed from beverage containers before taking them to a container refund point. Removing the lids will help with the crushing of containers at processing facilities, and will provide the following benefits:
- Plastic tops are usually made from a different plastic than the bottle and separating the plastics reduces the level of ‘contamination’ which means better recycling outcomes.
- Leaving lids on containers can cause problems with transport and storage.
Can a container refund point refuse to take my containers?
There are several reasons why a container refund point operator may refuse to accept your containers:
- They are contaminated (i.e. contain sand, dirt, paint, petrol, noxious substances etc.)
- The container is not recognisable as an eligible container (i.e. crushed beyond recognition or broken in the case of glass).
- The container is not eligible under the scheme.
- The container refund point operator has reason to believe the container has been purchased interstate.
- The container refund point operator has reason to believe the container has already been redeemed or has been deposited from any kerbside recycling operator.
- If a person refuses to complete a declaration when asked to do so by the container refund point.
Returning your containers
Where can I return my containers?
You can return your containers at over 642 return points across NSW. You can find the full list and your nearest return point at https://returnandearn.org.au/
How can I return my containers
Containers can be returned in a number of different ways:
- Reverse Vending Machines: TOMRA Reverse Vending Machines allow you to return your containers quickly and get your refund right away. Ideal for any number of containers and being able to claim your refund immediately.
- Over-The-Counter Collection: Over-The-Counter sites are participating local businesses such as news agencies or corner stores. Simply take your eligible containers to the counter. The store assistant will count the containers and issue you a refund.
- Bag Drop: Ideal for customers who are on the go but don’t need their refund immediately. Requires the myTOMRA App to use and a minimum of 50 containers to use. Take your bags of containers to the TOMRA Recycling Centre in Granville, stick your personalised barcode on your bags, scan the barcodes into your myTOMRA app and confirm. Your refund will be paid within 24 hours.
- Bulk Sorting: Only available for commercial businesses, community groups and registered charities for processing 2,000 containers in a short time frame. Please contact our friendly staff to find out more about this method. Your refund will be paid between 24 and 48 hours.
What is a Reverse Vending Machine and how do I use it?
A Reverse Vending Machine is your high-tech option to return empty eligible containers for recycling. Simply insert your empty containers into the chute at the front of the machine. Containers will be scanned to ensure they are eligible for a refund. When you’ve finished depositing the containers, the Reverse Vending Machine will issue the refund. You have the choice of how to receive your refund – as an e-Voucher, printed voucher, or you can donate to a charity, school, sports or community group.
What happens to containers once they are returned?
Containers deposited at a container refund point will be sorted by material type and prepared for collection and transportation to a processing centre, where the materials are tightly compacted and prepared for recycling. Containers are then sold via an online auction platform into domestic and export markets to an approved recycler where the material is recycled into new materials or back into beverage containers.
Claiming your refund
How can I claim my refund?
You can receive your refund in 3 ways:
- Through a retail voucher or e-Voucher, which can be redeemed as cash or used for your shopping at Woolworths or Coles. The e-Voucher is only available through the myTOMRA app. The myTOMRA app can be downloaded here.
- Directly to your PayPal account via the myTOMRA app, which can be paid into to your bank account or used for online purchases. The myTOMRA app can be downloaded here.
- Donated directly to a charity or community organization listed on the Reverse Vending Machine. 100% of the money you donate will go to the charity you choose.
Where can I get the app?
How can I get an E-voucher?
To claim your refund through e-Voucher, download the myTOMRA app here. Sign in or register with a myTOMRA. When you’re at the kiosk, scan your barcode before you return your containers to get your refund in e-Vouchers. E-Vouchers are only available through Reverse Rending Machines and Bag Drop.
How can I get a print voucher?
Simply return your containers at a Reverse Vending Machine and select the “Voucher” option at the end of your session.
How can I donate to charity?
It’s easy to donate to a charity, school or community group. Simply return your containers at a Reverse Vending Machine and select the “Donate” option at the end of your session. You will then be given a menu to select which organisation you would like to donate to. Select your preferred organisation and press the “Confirm” button to donate. Please note 100% of the money you donate will be given to the charity.
How can I redeem my voucher?
You can redeem your voucher/e-Voucher refund at any Woolworths store Australia-wide. The voucher is redeemable for cash or can be used for payment towards your shopping. It is not currently available for online purchases.
How do I get my refund through PayPal?
To claim your refund through PayPal, download the myTOMRA app here. Ensure you register for a PayPal account, if you haven’t already, and then link it to your myTOMRA account via the Payment Settings menu. When you’re at the kiosk, scan your barcode before you return your containers to get your refund via PayPal.
I want to send E-vouchers into my PayPal account
If you’ve been using the myTOMRA app and have accrued E-vouchers, you can easily send those through to PayPal. Simply link your PayPal account and your E-vouchers will automatically get sent through. To link your PayPal account, go into the “Payment Settings” menu in the myTOMRA App and select the PayPal function.
I want to transfer my PayPal balance into an E-voucher
Unfortunately, once a transaction has hit your PayPal account, your refund is considered to be paid out, and cannot go into an E-voucher. To avoid accidentally sending money into your PayPal account, go into your Payment settings in the myTOMRA App and choose your preferred method.
I didn’t get an E-voucher from my session – it just went to my app wallet.
E-voucher is only available at Reverse Vending Machines that have Woolworths or Coles as the redemption partner. If you use your myTOMRA app at an RVM that lists an IGA or an independent store as the redemption partner, you will need to collect your refund via PayPal.
There is an issue claiming my refund, how do I chase this?
You can contact our hotline on 1800 290 691 – our dedicated team of customer service professionals will work with you to ensure that your refund is recognised.
Can my organisation apply to be a donation partner?
Organisations who want to become a donation partner with TOMRA Recycling Centres are required to satisfy the eligibility criteria as outlined on the application form which can be downloaded here.
If your organisation is a school, sporting club, charity, or a not-for-profit community group and you satisfy the eligibility criteria you can apply to become a donation partner by completing the application form found on our Charity and Community page here and returning it with the supporting documentation to email@example.com
How can my organisation get involved?
Organisations have a variety of ways they can get involved to help raise funds;
- School, sporting club, charity, or a not-for-profit community groups can apply to become a donation partner on a Reverse Vending Machines at their local TOMRA Recycling Centres and receive donations from people using the machine who choose to donate.
- Organisations that have year-round contact with a large community of members (e.g. a school or sporting club) can become a local container collection point. Members of their community can then drop off and donate their eligible containers, equivalent to a 10-cent donation to the organisation.
- Smaller organisations, or those who have more sporadic contact with their community or membership base, may wish to run container collection drives at set times during the year. For example at a local fundraising event members and the wider community would be able to donate their eligible containers. Mobile collection cages will be available for hire from your local TOMRA Recycling Centre.
TOMRA trailers are available for 48-hour hire on a first come, first serve basis. Trailer hire is FREE provided it is used for the collection and returning of containers to a TOMRA Collection Recycling Centre.
Please contact the TOMRA Team for more information or to book a trailer on 1300 11 88 88
How do donation partners get selected to feature on a Reverse Vending Machine?
Donation partners are selected based on a first come, first serve basis for applications that fulfil the eligibility criteria. You can find out more on our Charity and Community page
How can I get my charity, school, club or community group raise funds with TOMRA Recycling Centres?
Applicants who fulfil the donation partner criteria can apply to become a donation partner at their local depot on the Reverse Vending Machines. It’s easy to apply
- Go to Charity and Community page to find out more.
- Download and complete an application form and send this together with the supporting documents to firstname.lastname@example.org
- You will be advised of the status of your application as soon as possible.
- If your application is successful you will receive a confirmation email with the dates of your partnership and a standard contract to sign and return.
- Donation partners are rotated every 3-months to give as many not-for-profit organisations as possible the opportunity to fundraise through the scheme.
You can find the eligibility criteria for donation partners on the application forms on the Charity and Community page
What is Return and Earn?
Return and Earn is the largest litter reduction initiative introduced in NSW, commencing on 1 December 2017.
Littering impacts all of us. It spoils our environment, costs millions of dollars to clean up, and is associated with anti-social behaviour. Drink container litter makes up 44 per cent of the volume of all litter across NSW.
Return and Earn will reduce the number of drink containers in the litter stream and help to meet the Premier’s goal of reducing the volume of litter in NSW by 40 per cent by 2020.
How does Return and Earn Work?
Through Return and Earn, you can return eligible beverage containers to a return point and earn a 10-cent refund per container. This refund can be in the form of a voucher to redeem as cash or at a retail partner, or a digital refund via PayPal, or you can donate your refund to a donation partner.