Return & Earn-Get Cash or Vouchers for your cans & bottles

A great way to make a bit of money on the side and to help the environment is to recycle your can, bottles and cardboard drink bottles. Instead of putting them in your recycle bin, collect them until you have a decent amount, or you want to cash them in. Eligible items are worth 10 c each. So not a fortune by themselves, but collect them and add them up and it can make a nice be extra in your budget, for Christmas, holidays, whatever. 

There are programs set up across Australia in NSW, QLD, WA, Victoria and NT. See the website for more information and locations Tomra, the company behind it operates over 82000 installations worldwide. For those outside of Australia, see their main website

Sort your items into glass and everything else. 1 type of machine takes plastic, cartons and cans only and another takes glass bottles only. Check the website for which bottles, cartons and cans you can return. Currently items like wine bottles and 2 litre bottles from juice are NOT accepted. 

So how do you get your money?

In Australia, you can sign up for the app on Android or iPhones. You don’t need to have the app through, but it makes it a bit easier. You can download it from your app store. The app is called myTOMRA. 

You can be paid in a voucher (ro groceries or as cash), into your PayPal account or donate it to charity. Each location will have their own store voucher. Some will be Woolworths, some will be Coles and some might be a local IGA etc. If it’s Woolworths or Coles, you can usually use them at any location. If it’s a local IGA or similar, check, as you might have to spend it at that certain location. Check your nearest location on the website or app to find out.

When you take your bottles and cans to the return station, depending if you have the app or not do the following:
* If you have the app, open it. Press the picture of the barcode to reveal your barcode. Let the scanner read it and will then show on the machine’s screen your name. Then you can start putting your items in.
* If you don’t have or don’t want to use the app, just walk up to a spare machine, start putting your items in the shute. 

The screen will give you a running total. If you still have more to put in, but you stop for more than about 15-30 seconds, then the machine will think your finished and either
* If you have the app, it will give you an amount for an e-voucher, add that to your paypal or charity gift. To continue, rescan your barcode and restart putting items in the shute. 
*If you don’t have the app, it will spit out a voucher for how much you have done so far. To continue, just restart putting items in the shute. 

Once you are done, just wait 15-30 seconds and it will add it to the app, or spit out another voucher (you can also press voucher on the machine screen for non app uses)

On the app, if you go into vouchers it will show you your current and available vouchers. 

If you go into Refunds, it will show you all your payouts, totals and whether the voucher has been redeemed. 

I’ve used e-vouchers from the app on my phone at Woolworths. When you use them, they don’t have a PIN like normal gift cards and you don’t select Gift Cards at the checkout. You just scan them like a normal grocery item and it comes off your bill. If you want cash, check with the grocery store worker before you scan it.