Community Fundraising ‘Bottle & Can drives’

The ‘new sausage sizzle’ raising valuable funds for local charities

A wide range of community groups proactively engages their volunteers and supporters to collect as many drink containers as possible, returning cans and bottles to their local machines or collection points to cash in the refunds. The funds raised by community groups across NSW through the Bottle & Can drives or donation bins are estimated to be in the millions of dollars since the start of the scheme in December 2017.

As the network operator, TOMRA Cleanaway is a key first point of contact for organisations willing to increase their level of involvement with the scheme. We are helping these community groups gain access to the scheme’s key information, collection bags and scheme branded signage. We also share PR and marketing tips on how best to engage with the local community.

The following community groups we have supported represent a snapshot of hundreds of similar stories across the state:

  • Lions Club of Ballina, Gerringong and Temora, who have raised more than $120,000 helping fund vital community initiatives
  • Ballina Hospital Auxiliary who have collected over 20,000 containers to date, raising $2,000 to help buy equipment for maternity, emergency and operating theatre patients
  • Marine Rescue Sydney – State Communications Centre (ex – Terrey Hills) who have raised more than $5,000 since they started fundraising through the scheme in March 2019, helping increase boating traffic safety in NSW
  • Can Assist Orange whose team have collected tens of thousands of containers to deposit at Reverse Vending Machines, raising more than $5,000 since August 2020

Each one of these organisations decided to use the scheme to help the environment and reduce litter by placing can and bottle donation bins or large donation bags at their local schools, swimming pools, sports clubs, or caravan parks. The collected cans and bottles are then returned to a collection point, with the resulting funds channelled back into important community programs, such as drought, fire and flood relief, in-school initiatives, provisions, and a wide range of other vital local initiatives that are making a difference to the lives of many members in our community.

Contact us to find out how we can help you run a successful ‘Bottles & Cans” drive. 

John Goode is showing how the Lions Club of Temora is fundraising through recycling of drink containers with the support of the whole community.

Resource Recovery Australia

Lions Clubs in Ballina, Gerringong and Temora

Community Fundraising “Bottle & Can Drives”

Lions Clubs in Ballina, Gerringong and Temora are just three of the many Lions Clubs in NSW using the scheme to help the environment and benefit the community by placing donation bins at their local schools, sports clubs, and caravan parks. The highly dedicated Lions manage the collection of containers and the deposit to their local Reverse Vending Machines or return point.

As of March 2022, more than $120,000 has been raised by these three Lions Clubs, helping fund drought assistance projects, school programs and other vital community initiatives.

Resource Recovery Australia

Ballina Hospital Auxiliary

Ballina Hospital Auxiliary

The Ballina Hospital Auxiliary raises funds to purchase items for the care and comfort of patients at the Ballina District Hospital. As patients are often given bottled water, the auxiliary set up deposit points around the hospital. The charity has been receiving an average of 20,000 refunds each year, raising $2,000 to help buy equipment for emergency and operating theatre patients.

During COVID-19 restrictions, container returns have made a huge difference. I can’t emphasise enough how grateful we are to TOMRA for supporting us in our fundraising activity. – Chris Penn, Ballina Hospital Auxiliary Secretary

Resource Recovery Australia

Marine Rescue Sydney

State Communications Centre

Marine Rescue

Emergency services organisation Marine Rescue Sydney has participated in several of the different fundraising options available through partnering with TOMRA Cleanaway, including as a Reverse Vending Machine on-screen partner and through the mobile app. The organisation and its members also actively collect drink containers from the local community and have established on-site donation bins. Marine Rescue Sydney has raised more than $5,000 as of February 2022, helping increase boating traffic safety in NSW.

This is a fantastic initiative, and we encourage and welcome all other not-for-profits getting on board. This is a win-win initiative with no losers. ~ Marg Chu, Operations Officer

Resource Recovery Australia

Can Assist Orange

Can Assist Orange

Can Assist Orange gives local people living with cancer the opportunity to have fair and equitable access to cancer care and support services. Initially listed as a donation option on their local Reverse Vending Machines, COVID and lockdowns forced the charity to cancel many of its fundraising events. Due to this, Can Assist Orange decided to proactively engage with their local community by placing ‘donation bins’ at local restaurants, bowling and golf clubs as an alternative fundraising source.

Since 2020, the team has collected tens of thousands of containers to deposit at their local Reverse Vending Machines, raising more than $7,500. They’ve also been able to recruit new volunteers and now have 7 people working on this fundraising activity.

It’s the most amazing fundraiser! It’s easy, we’re doing our bit for the environment and all money raised stays local and is provides confidential and non-means tested assistance.  – Helen Corby, Can Assist Orange Branch President 

Other ways charities and NFP organisations are benefiting from the scheme


See how charity operators generate a significant revenue stream that gets invested back into social enterprises, creating new employment opportunities or funding vital community programs


Major recycling appeals have raised close to $1 million for large charities. Find out how these appeals benefit state-wide charities, help drive community impact, and give people a direct and tangible way to help.


Over 650 small and large charities, schools and community groups have become an on-screen donation partner raising over $2 Million from drink container refunds since scheme commencement.


An unlimited number of charities and not-for-profits can benefit from fundraising through the app, receiving donations from ANY Reverse Vending Machines across NSW. With no upfront costs, no ongoing overhead, this digital fundraising tool gives access to hundreds of thousands potential donors


Find out how community groups proactively engage their volunteers and supporters to collect millions of drink containers, returning them to their local Reverse Vending Machines or Collection Point to access cash refunds.