Steph Cooke MP leans on a Return and Earn site where bottles, cans and glass can be returned for refund.
Steph Cooke MP at a Temora Return and Earn site.

Return and Earn has now soared past 3 billion containers returned state-wide just a month after the second anniversary of the recycling initiative.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke MP said the region should be proud of its ongoing commitment to reducing litter and its contribution to the 3 billion containers collected.

“This scheme has been phenomenal and highlights a fundamental change in people’s thinking and behaviour around litter. It’s also been a fantastic new way of fundraising for many of our wonderful community groups,” Ms Cooke said.

“Return and Earn has been very successful in the Cootamundra Electorate with more than 36.6 million containers returned helping to contribute to more than 3 billion now collected.”

“That’s $3.66 million that has been refunded to people, charities, sporting and community groups in the electorate.”

Ms Cooke said summer is peak season for return and earners cashing in their containers and helping the environment and the recent holiday period was particularly impressive for returned containers.

“State-wide between 21 December 2019 and 13 January 2020, there were 10 days with more than 7 million drink containers returned a day, including four days with over 8 million containers returned.” Ms Cooke said.

“Every bottle returned is a win for the environment.”

Until 23 February, recyclers in NSW can donate to Bottles for the Bush, on all reverse vending machines with 10 cents from each container going towards helping farmers and rural families impacted by the drought and the recent bushfire devastation. This option is part of a nationwide appeal that has raised more than $430,000 so far with more than $360,000 coming through NSW’s Return and Earn scheme.

Return and Earn includes around 640 return points across NSW including reverse vending machines, staffed automated depots and over the counter sites. For more information about Return and Earn, visit