About the Scheme



Victoria’s Container Deposit Scheme (CDS Vic) rewards Victorians with a 10 cent refund for every eligible can, carton and bottle they return.


How it works

Victoria’s Container Deposit Scheme (CDS Vic) makes it easy for everyone to participate. All Victorians – including families, community groups, charities, multi unit dwellings and more – can bring their eligible beverage containers to a refund point, and receive 10 cents in exchange for it. This refund can be kept or donated to one of our donation partners.

CDS Vic operates on a partnership model, where VicReturn handle the financial operations, marketing and community education to maintain scheme integrity. Our other partners, the network operators TOMRA Cleanaway, VISY and Return-It, oversee the return points, refunds to customers and ensure proper recycling of the containers. The Victorian State Government regulates the scheme to ensure efficient operation.

First suppliers

Our beverage suppliers are responsible for funding our scheme by making monthly payments to us which fund the overall monthly scheme costs. We calculate and invoice these payments based on the approved scheme payments and contribution methodology.

Our scheme costs include:

  • container refunds
  • network fees
  • processing refunds to industry
  • scheme coordinator fee
  • scheme compliance fee

Collect eligible containers

All Victorians are encouraged to get involved by collecting their containers and receiving a refund.

Customers may also choose to donate their containers to a local community collection drive, or donate their refund to a registered
community organisation, charity or sports club.

Community groups and charities

The scheme provides charities, community groups, environmental organisations, sports groups and educational organisations with new and easy ways to raise funds.

Options include:

  • Receive donations from the community
    • Victorians can choose to pocket their refund or donate to a participating charity
  • Initiate a collection drive
    • Receive containers from the community

Container refund points

Refund point operators may include small businesses, community organisations, charities, sports clubs and councils throughout Victoria.

Network (Zone) Operators will be responsible for sub-contracting to refund point operators.
Refund point operators receive a fee for every container they receive.

Refund point operators are responsible for:

  • collecting, counting and sorting returned containers,
  • paying the 10 cent refund amount to customers, and
  • preparing materials for transport to a processor.


Our network and material facility operator partners manage the sale of containers to recyclers. Your returned container is given a new lease on life. The material is recycled and remanufactured into a new product, saving it from landfill or littering the environment.

Container eligibility

What’s in and what’s out


Most beverage containers (between 150mL and 3L) made from aluminium, glass, plastic, steel and liquid paperboard are eligible.

Aluminium cans
Plastic bottles
Glass bottles
Paperboard cartons (under 1L)
Steel bottles/cans


Don’t throw these out! Ineligible containers may still be accepted in your kerbside recycling bin.

Wine and spirit bottles
Milk containers
Paperboard cartons (over 1L)
Cordial bottles

Eligible container search

Get Involved

Find out how all Victorians can participate in Victoria’s Container Deposit Scheme.

Scheme integrity

VicReturn’s commitment on Fraud, Corruption and Misconduct


Learn more

How is the scheme funded?

First suppliers of eligible beverage containers in Victoria are required to pay contributions based on a fixed price per material type to fund the management, administration, and operation of the scheme. As part of the scheme’s operational costs, consumers receive a 10c refund as an incentive to return eligible drink containers at refund collection points across the state.

Who is responsible for operating Victoria’s Container Deposit Scheme?

Victoria’s Container Deposit Scheme is run by a Scheme Coordinator and is operated by three Zone Operators.

VicReturn is the Scheme Coordinator and is responsible for:

  • Manage the financial and administrative aspects of the scheme
  • Conduct audits of the scheme to prevent fraud
  • Pay refund amounts and collection network costs to the Network Operators
  • Report against performance targets set by the government

Return-it, TOMRA Cleanaway and Visy have been appointed as Zone Operators and they will:

  • Establish and maintain a network of refund collection points in their appointed zones
  • Distribute refund amounts to consumers
  • Distribute payments to refund collection point operators
  • Report on CDS participation and redemption rates
How many Refund Points are there going to be in Victoria and where will they be located?

The Zone Operators will establish and maintain a network of more than 600 Refund Points across the state, making the scheme accessible to all Victorians.

Within 12 months of Scheme commencement, the Zone Operators will be required to have a minimum of one Refund Point per 14,500 people in metropolitan areas, at least one per town of 750 people in regional areas, and at least one per town of 350 people in remote areas.

Refund point installation has commenced. They are operational, and more will be installed in the following months. The mix of these will vary across local government areas. For more information, please contact your local Zone Operator.

You can search for your closest refund point on the interactive map on CDS Vic website.