About us

TOMRA Cleanaway was formed in 2017 as a joint venture governed through our shareholders, TOMRA Collection Solutions Australia, a global leader in reverse vending and sorting technology, and Cleanaway Waste Management, Australia’s largest waste and resource recovery organisation.

We were formed to deliver the NSW container deposit scheme as the government-appointed network operator for Return and Earn. We have since become leaders in delivering premier container deposit scheme operations and commodity management.

We have envisaged and delivered a modern, convenient, and accessible container deposit scheme for the 8 million citizens of NSW. In the process, a new benchmark in behaviour change management for Australia has been achieved.

In April 2023, TOMRA Cleanaway was appointed as the West Zone network operator for the Victorian container deposit scheme CDS Vic, where we will use our experience and expertise to deliver a network of roughly 180 refund points to Victorians in the West Zone once the scheme is fully mobilised.

Our guiding principles

Caring for our community
Our community is at the core of our success. We are committed to enabling all members of the community to participate by making use of our container deposit networks, and at the same time, creating opportunities to support local causes and fund community events.

Making it easy
We provide accessible return points for the community. Whether it’s one container or 1,000, we take them all. With the diversity in network capabilities, we can meet the needs of our communities across metro and regional Australia.

Doing what we say
We’re committed to transparency and the delivery of a reliable container refund network through real-time data. Transparency in our operations sets us apart from our competitors.

Our mission: deliver value through recycling.


Our services

Australia is committed to transitioning to a more circular economy, where materials at the end of their useful life are no longer seen as waste, but as a valuable resource that can be re-used, recycled, or remanufactured time and time again.

This circular lifecycle means waste doesn’t end up in landfill, pollution is decreased, and fewer raw materials are required to create new products – just to name a few!

Container deposit schemes are underpinned by extended producer responsibility, whereby the producer of a waste item is required to fund efficient and effective material recovery and recycling processes.

As global movements turn consumers away from single-use items, container deposit schemes provide a sustainable government-legislated mechanism for recycling single-use beverage containers and contributing to a circular economy.

Creating a Circular Economy

Everyone has a role to play in transforming our waste and resource system through container deposit schemes.

As consumers, we are all responsible for ensuring that whatever we’re buying is disposed of correctly. Just as we all separate our household waste into our kerbside bins, separating our eligible cans, cartons and bottles for recycling through the CDS is just another responsibility we all share.

We all have the power to do the right thing, and by returning containers for recycling through the CDS we know that these containers won’t enter our environment as litter or landfill and that they will continue their journey through the circular economy.

Container collection logistics
Working with the refund collection point partners, our logistics fleet collects and transports containers from all our container refund points, whether these are RVMs or OTCs, and transports them back to a central counting and sorting facility for further processing.

Our logistics fleet is managed using real-time live data and has been designed to access busy metropolitan car parks and the wide-open roads of regional Australia.

Materials/commodity sales
Separation of materials through a container deposit network results in a stream of clean materials – counted, sorted, baled and ready to be sold as a contaminant-free commodity to domestic and global buyers.

In a circular economy, we stop seeing discarded containers as waste, and instead we start seeing a highly valuable material that can be manufactured into new products to be re-used and recycled all over again.

Container refund points
Container refund points are where consumers can return their eligible beverage containers for recycling through the CDS and receive their 10 cent refund per container.

These refund points are where materials will be scanned and verified before being sorted into the initial material streams for further processing at our central counting and sorting facilities.

Counting, cleaning & sorting
Containers are delivered to a central container sorting facility where they are sorted by highly automated equipment that detects and sorts by material type – aluminium, glass, steel, plastic, and liquid paperboard – to be sold and recycled as high-quality materials to domestic and global buyers.

Beverage manufacturers
Beverage manufacturers have the ability to purchase repurposed materials that have made the journey through the container deposit system, to remanufacture into new bottles and can, to be reused and remanufactured again and again through this system of circularity.



Our central customer service number for all CDS Vic West Zone-related enquiries is 1800 237 842.

Alternatively, contact us online.

A zone operator is responsible for all container deposit elements: front-of-house collection of containers for consumers to back-of-house logistics, commodity management, and recycling activities that provide surety of recycling outcomes.

TOMRA Cleanaway is one of 3 Zone Operators for CDS Vic and has been allocated the West Zone of Victoria – consisting of 28 local government areas across Victoria’s west.

As one of the zone operators for CDS Vic, it is our responsibility to:

    • establish and maintain an accessible and convenient network of refund points across our zone
    • pay refund amounts to consumers
    • distribute payments to refund point operators
    • report on CDS participation and redemption rates in the West Zone

Container deposit schemes like CDS Vic offer fundraising opportunities for charities, schools, communities and sporting groups.

These groups can seek donations of eligible drink containers from the community to then redeem for a refund at an approved collection point.

    • Groups interested in fundraising through CDS Vic will first need to apply to the Scheme Coordinator to obtain a donation partner ID here.
    • To fundraise and receive payments in the West Zone, groups will then need to activate their donation partner ID with TOMRA Cleanaway through the link provided in their registration email.

As a registered donation partner, your organisation will appear on the TOMRA Cleanaway CDS Vic West Zone app as a preferred payout option so people can donate their refunds directly to your cause.

Over-the-counter (OTC) refund points are container collection points that manually collect containers, delivering these back to a central counting and sorting facility for verification and processing. OTC refund points typically handle smaller numbers of containers.

If you are interested in partnering to host an OTC, please contact us.

A reverse vending machine (RVM) is the opposite of a drink dispensing machine. A person places their empty eligible drink container into the machine, the container is scanned to verify it is eligible, and the person either:

    • receives a voucher they can redeem for cash or in-store credit at a partnering retailer (such as Woolworths or Coles)
    • receives an electronic funds transfer to their registered PayPal account via the CDS Vic West Zone app
    • donates a refund to a nominated charity or community group.

These machines do not hold cash.

If you are interested in partnering to host an RVM, please contact us.

Standalone RVMs are a compact version of our larger reverse vending machines. These machines operate in the same easy way as their larger format counterpart, but their compact size means they can be placed in small-to-medium stores and still offer the same efficient, hassle-free experience.

If you are interested in partnering to host a standalone RVM, please contact us.

An automated depot (AD) is a high-volume collection point for containers in bulk quantities. The AD has a mechanical scanning and counting system that efficiently processes bulk returns using the same cloud-based verification technology used in RVMs.

ADs are operated by independent organisations and receive a handling fee for each eligible drink container received. In the West Zone, TOMRA Cleanaway is proud to partner with a range of social enterprises to operate these bulk refund points across Victoria’s west.

If you are interested in partnering to host an AD, please contact us.

Reverse vending bulk depots or RVBDs are self-service facilities. The indoor air-conditioned facility features 6 indoor reverse vending machines and provides an all-weather experience with more capacity and onsite parking.

Please contact us to find out more.

Using your kerbside recycling, you’re actively participating in recycling; however, you will not personally receive any refund for eligible containers disposed of in kerbside recycling.

In Victoria, the operators of material recovery facilities that process the material collected in kerbside recycling are permitted to claim the 10 cent refund on eligible containers that they process. These operators will share half of these refunds with the relevant councils.

Most 150ml to 3L beverage containers are eligible for a 10 cent refund provided they are made from glass, plastic, aluminium, steel, or liquid paperboard. Containers should be empty, uncrushed, unbroken, and have the original label intact.

The eligibility of beverage containers generally aligns nationally among all container deposit schemes and includes beverages consumed away from home and are most commonly found in the litter stream.

Check the CDS Vic website for further details.

Wine, spirit, and plain milk are general beverages consumed in the home and do not form part of the litter stream. These items are, therefore, not eligible for a container deposit scheme return.

Check the CDS Vic website for further details.

CDS Vic is Victoria’s new container deposit scheme that rewards Victorians with a 10 cent refund for every eligible can, carton and bottle they return through the scheme.

Find out more about CDS Vic here.

Container deposit schemes are known by a variety of names – ‘bottle deposit schemes’, ‘deposit refund or return systems’ (DRS), or ‘bottle bills’ – and are generally underpinned by legislation.

Container deposit schemes operate through the addition of a small deposit on the price of a beverage. In most instances, these are beverages consumed away from the home and are considered to be ‘single use.’ The deposit paid by the consumer is refunded when the empty drink container is returned. In Australia, the deposit amount is 10 cents.

In December 2017, the United Nations Environment Agency encouraged all countries globally to implement container deposit schemes. Click here f0r more information.

The Single-Use Plastics Directive adopted in 2019 by the Council of the European Union has set a goal for member states to collect 90% of all plastic bottles by 2029, with an interim goal of 77% by 2025, through initiatives such as container deposit schemes. Click here f0r more information.

Schemes like CDS Vic help transform the way we look at containers – we stop seeing waste, and we start seeing resources.

Containers collected through TOMRA Cleanaway’s network of refund points represent a highly prized commodity. Quality input determines quality output.

As a result of the large volumes of containers collected, our commodity trading desk function delivers high-quality materials to domestic and global buyers.

Source separation of materials through our container collection and refund network results in a clean, contaminant-free commodity available at scale locally in Australia.

Containers being returned for a refund through CDS Vic need to:

    • be empty
    • be uncrushed and not damaged to the extent that the container cannot be recognised
    • have the label and barcode still intact
    • have their lids left on (preferably)

No. Victorians will still be able to return their eligible containers for a refund through CDS Vic without using the CDS Vic West Zone app.

Reverse vending machines dispense vouchers that can be redeemed for cash at the redemption partner printed at the top of the voucher, and most OTC refund points can give cash refunds.

Yes! Community groups can get involved with CDS Vic by running ‘Bottle & Can drives’ by proactively engaging their volunteers and supporters to collect as many eligible drink containers as possible.

The collected cans and bottles are then returned to a refund 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 in our community.

Click here for more information.


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