'Return and Earn' at UNSW

Posted 15 February 2018

You can now earn 10 cents for every eligible drink container you return at the new bottle return facility located near the Old Main Building entrance (K15) next to the Physics Lawn. 

UNSW is the first University in NSW to install a reverse vending machine for refunds on recycled bottles and cans under the New South Wales Government’s new Container Deposit Scheme. The scheme, launched on 1 December 2017, aims to reduce litter by 40 per cent by 2020.

This facility will not just help reduce litter and provide a refund facility for the UNSW community, but will also help us to reduce the amount of disposable containers from going into our general waste stream.

What can I return?

Most empty 150ml to 3-litre beverage containers are eligible for a 10 cent refund.

Container materials that may be eligible for a refund include:

  • Plastic

  • Glass

  • Aluminium

  • Steel

  • Liquid paperboard (cartons)

Containers should be empty, uncrushed, unbroken and have the original label attached. Wine, spirits, cordial and plain milk containers are generally not eligible. If a container is not eligible for a refund, please use a recycling bin. 

Unsure of what you can return? Use this helpful online tool to check the eligibility of your containers.

How to claim your 10c refund

The 10c refund can be claimed via the machine in the following ways:

  • Digital refund: receive a refund to your account via PayPal

  • Retail refund: receive a voucher which can be redeemed for cash or put towards shopping at Woolworths supermarkets

  • Donate your refund: refund directly to a selected charity or community fundraiser


More information

For any questions or if you would like further information on this scheme, please contact UNSW Sustainability: sustainability@unsw.edu.au.