Recycling machines

Recycling machines

Thank you, Sydney

Thank you for participating in our trial of recycling machines across the local area.

Please note the trial has now ended and the machines are no longer operating.

This webpage will be updated soon.

Zero Waste

Recycling pays

Why throw something away when you can be rewarded for recycling it instead?

The City has 2 reverse vending machines in the local area so there is an option to recycle when you are out and about. This is part of a trial until mid-2017.

A reverse vending machine works the opposite way to a vending machine – you put in an empty drink container and you get to choose a reward for your recycling efforts.

What can go into the machines?

The machines love empty drink cans and plastic bottles.

Careful not to put in glass or containers full of liquid, and do not crush your containers beforehand – our machines won’t cope.

Did you know?

The City has tried using recycling bins in public areas, but levels of contamination made it impossible to recycle the materials collected.

The beauty of these machines is that they accept only items that can be recycled and reject anything else. No more burger wrappers!

The machine also identifies the type of recyclable container by barcode, so if your plastic bottle is rejected, check that the label is intact.


  • Redfern – in Redfern village near the corner of Redfern and Regent streets
  • Circular Quay – near bus stand C on Alfred Street

10 cents set to clean things up

Hurray! Get ready to see the litter disappear. The NSW container deposit scheme will start on 1 December 2017. This will involve a 10 cent refund for every container returned to reverse vending machines, much like these ones.

Don’t bin it, win it

Recycle for a chance to win these great prizes

Recycle for a chance to win these great prizes 

So what exactly can you win? You can choose from:

  • going in the draw to win a family pass to the 2016 Sydney New Year’s Eve Dawes Point Viewing Area
  • a chance to win 1 of 2 Bose noise-cancelling headphones
  • a 2 for 1 meal offer with the Caminito Food Truck
  • donating your reward to Clean Up Australia or OzHarvest.

The machine will also randomly select an instant winner for an Opal card with a credit of $10.

Check this page for new rewards as they change from time to time. 

Breakdowns and repairs

Even though our machines are grunty, they are not invincible and need a little TLC sometimes. For operational assistance email or call the City on 02 9265 9333.

What’s the issue, really?

Beverage containers now outstrip cigarette butts as the most littered item (taken from the national top 10 rubbish items collected on Clean Up Australia Day). Fifteen thousand bottles and cans are littered or landfilled in Australia every minute.

It is a fact that a cash for container scheme, will reduce litter and increase recycling rates to 80–95%. South Australia is leading the way with such a scheme and has doubled the rate of recycling than the rest of the country. 


Sydney New Year’s Eve Oz Harvest Clean Up AustraliaBoomerang AllianceEnvirobankCaminito Food Truck

Last updated: Tuesday, 15 August 2017