Check out our Frequently Asked Questions – detailing everything from what’s eligible to how to get in touch with us.
Donation Partner Enquiries
|1300 11 88 88|
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.
- Caps should also be removed from bottles.
- 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 your local TOMRA Recycling Centre, located at any of the addresses below:
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.
- Bag Drop: Ideal for customers who are on the go but don’t need their refund immediately. Requires the Containers For Change scheme ID to use and a minimum of 50 containers to use. Take your bags of containers to a TOMRA Recycling Centre, use your Scheme ID barcode at the terminal, stick your stickers on your bags, and drop. Your refund will be paid within 3-5 days.
- 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 a digital payout, a 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. The e-Voucher is only available through the myTOMRA app. The myTOMRA app can be downloaded here.
- To your bank account or PayPal account via your Containers For Change scheme ID barcode.
- 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.
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. 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
There is an issue claiming my refund, how do I chase this?
You can contact our hotline on 1300 22 22 82 – 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.
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?
There are a variety of checks that are completed to ensure each applicant is eligible to become a donation partner.
Local organisations must use the funds raised in their local area.
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.
How do I hire a trailer for a community collection drive?
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.
Why is a Container Refund Scheme being introduced?
The Queensland Government has introduced a Container Refund Scheme (CRS) to reduce the amount of beverage container litter that enters our environment by providing an incentive for people to collect and return eligible containers for recycling in exchange for a refund payment. Flow-on benefits include business and employment opportunities as part of the operation of the scheme.
Who runs the Container Refund Scheme?
The Queensland Parliament passed the Waste Reduction and Recycling Amendment Bill with bipartisan support in September 2017. It provides that the CRS will be established, managed and operated by a Product Responsibility Organisation (PRO). The Queensland Government appointed Container Exchange as the PRO.
The PRO’s responsibilities include (but are not limited to) ensuring the product stewardship of beverage manufacturers by collecting funds from beverage manufacturers (which are required by legislation to fund the costs of the CRS), contracting with Container Refund Point Operators and other service providers to deliver the CRS.
Who is Container Exchange?
Container Exchange was founded to apply for the role of the Product Responsibility Organisation under the Queensland Container Refund Scheme (CRS). Container Exchange is a not-for-profit entity that is focused on achieving the aims of the CRS – reducing beverage container litter and fostering job opportunities in recycling by working closely with local businesses, social enterprises and community groups.
Will the scheme affect the price of the beverages I buy?
Beverage manufacturers that sell beverages ineligible containers will be required to fund the cost of the scheme, including the refund amount paid, as well as operating costs such as costs associated with collecting, sorting, counting and transporting collected materials. To cover their costs, beverage manufacturers may choose to increase the price of their products to retailers. This will be a decision for each beverage manufacturer individually.
Members of the public will have the opportunity to recoup part of any price increases by exchanging containers for the 10-cent refund.