Cheers to 6 Years of Return and Earn in NSW!

“One of the hallmarks of Return and Earn’s success is our commitment to providing convenient and accessible return points across NSW.

We’re proud to continue to invest in technological innovations to make it even easier for people to drop off their collections on the go.

James Dorney CEO – TOMRA Cleanaway

 

TOMRA Cleanaway‘s executives gathered on Friday 1 December 2023 to celebrate NSW’s wildly popular recycling scheme, Return and Earn!

1 December marked six years of success in which it has seen 8 out of 10 NSW adults participate, and over 10.4 billion drink containers returned for recycling through its statewide return point network.

TOMRA Cleanaway delivering innovation for NSW

New return points and return point formats continue to be rolled out across the state, with 618 return points now available in NSW including reverse-vending machines, automated depots and over-the-counter return points.

 

 

 

TOMRA Cleanaway has introduced several innovations this year, including upgrades to existing machines for a smoother recycling process, and new Return and Earn mobile vans, as well as the introduction of new small-format machines in petrol stations, newsagencies and other convenient locations.

 

 

“One of the hallmarks of Return and Earn’s success is our commitment to providing convenient and accessible return points across NSW.

 

We’re proud to continue to invest in technological innovations to make it even easier for people to drop off their collections on the go.

 

“We’re also constantly reviewing and expanding the return point network, with seven new return points launching in December, which will provide even greater access and capacity for people to redeem their eligible containers for the 10c refund,” said James Dorney, CEO of TOMRA Cleanaway.

 

We are also trialing two new Return and Earn mobile vans across metro Sydney this summer.”

This year, several Return and Earn machines have already been upgraded to the new, next-generation ‘takes-all’ technology which accepts all eligible containers in each of the four chutes rather than requiring separate glass and lightweights inputs, reducing queuing and sorting times for recyclers.

Best Practice Model for Container Deposit Scheme Success

Launched 1 December 2017, Return and Earn is a NSW Government initiative delivered through a tripartite partnership approach, with TOMRA Cleanaway as network operator integral to delivery of return points and recyclability of materials collected. Scheme coordinator Exchange for Change responsible for beverage registration, audit and verification and marketing and communication and education activities, and the NSW EPA responsible for regulatory oversight.

 

The split responsibility model for the Container Deposit Scheme (CDS) in NSW was a first of its kind for CDS in Australia, but is a model since adopted in other jurisdictions, including the Australian Capital Territory, Victoria and ahead in the upcoming Tasmanian Container Refund Scheme (CRS).

The Scheme has achieved some incredible milestones in six short years, including putting $1.04 billion in container refunds back into people’s pockets and recycling 960,344 tonnes of materials.

As Scheme Coordinator for the Return and Earn, Danielle Smalley, CEO is proud of the successes of NSW most prominent extended producer responsibility scheme,

“Importantly Return and Earn is NSW’s leading product stewardship scheme, funded by the beverage industry. The clean stream of materials it generates allows for new bottles and cans to be made from re-used plastic, aluminium and glass, contributing to a growing domestic circular economy.

“Even though it’s been successful, everyone involved in delivering the scheme remains focused on continually improving and innovating to make it even easier for people to participate and increase the number of containers recycled,” said Danielle Smalley, CEO of Exchange for Change.

“Congratulations to the millions of people participating in Return and Earn for making a real difference to the environment and their communities. This includes the many, many charities and local community groups that have raised $47 million over the last six years.

“The huge success of the scheme is due to the strong partnership between government and industry, support from the beverage and waste industries, and the passionate participation of community members.” said Ms Smalley.

For more information visit www.returnandearn.org.au.

This article first appeared in ECO Voice.