Container deposit

The New South Wales Container Deposit Scheme (CDS) comes into effect on 1 December 2017 and will be operated by Cleanaway and TOMRA in a joint venture partnership as Network Operator, as well as a separate Scheme Coordinator. Also known as "Return and Earn" the NSW CDS will be the largest litter reduction scheme introduced by the state, with the goal of reducing litter volume by 40% by 2020.

The Cleanaway and TOMRA joint venture has been appointed as the NSW CDS Network Operator for this scheme, responsible for providing handling, transporting, processing, recycling and data services.

How it works

The CDS rewards consumers for returning containers, cans and bottles to designated recycling points with a 10 cent refund per eligible container. The refund can be:

  • Disbursed electronically to the consumer
  • Donated to charity
  • An in-store credit or cash redemption voucher from selected partners

Collected containers will be processed through a counting and sorting centre in Western Sydney. They will then be recycled and sold into both domestic and export markets. Recovering these resources will create a closed loop, making a sustainable future possible.

The majority of containers covered under this scheme are beverage containers ranging from 150 millilitres to 3 litres. Containers can be made from:

  • Aluminium
  • Glass
  • HDPE
  • Liquid paperboard
  • PET
  • Steel

Why a container deposit scheme?

The Container Deposit Scheme is NSW's most ambitious initiative to tackle litter. The 2015 - 2016 National Litter Index found that 49% of litter by volume comprised of beverage containers. The NSW CDS will capture approximately 43% of this volume, while rewarding consumers who return these containers for making sustainable lifestyle choices.

Beverage suppliers, which includes manufacturers, importers, wholesalers and retailers who supply eligible containers into NSW will be responsible for funding the scheme and its associated costs.

NSW is the third Australian jurisdiction to adopt this scheme, with Queensland and the ACT to follow suit in 2018. South Australia has the longest-running CDS in the country and sees a 76.5% return rate for their beverage containers. They also have a very high landfill diversion rate of 80% across the board.

Container deposit schemes have been shown to have an impact beyond merely recycling rates and diverting waste from landfill. The NSW CDS has the potential to aid local councils by reducing costs caused by litter clean-up. For many communities, but particularly local organisations, charities and group the CDS can also represent an extra source of funding.

As leaders in logistics and resource recovery, the NSW CDS represents a new way for Cleanaway to partner with government and industry to achieve their environmental and sustainability goals. By partnering with an innovation leader like TOMRA, we're leveraging the experience of the global leader in reverse vending technology to deliver these services.

About the Joint Venture


Cleanaway Waste Management Ltd (ASX code: CWY) is Australia's leading total waste management, industrial and environmental services company. Our team of more than 4,000 highly trained staff are supported by a fleet of over 2,500 specialist vehicles working from almost 200 locations across Australia. With one of the largest waste, recycling and liquids collections fleets on the road, supported by a network of recycling facilities, transfer stations, landfills, liquids treatment plants and refineries, we are working hard to deliver on our mission and make a sustainable future possible for all our stakeholders


TOMRA was founded on an innovation in 1972 that began with design, manufacturing and sale of reverse vending machines (RVMs) for automated collection of used beverage containers. Today, TOMRA has more than 90,000 installations in over 80 markets worldwide and total revenues above 6.6 billion NOK in 2016. The Group employs over 3,500 globally and is publicly listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange (OSE: TOM). The TOMRA Group continues to innovate and provide cutting-edge solutions for optimal resource productivity within two main business areas: Collection Solutions (reverse vending and material recovery) and Sorting Solutions (recycling, mining and food sorting).


Cleanaway is certified to ISO 9001 (Quality), ISO 14001 (Environment) and AS 4801 (OHS) standards, helping to reduce your risk profile.

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