OPEN: The Tomra Reverse Vending Centre in Ballina.
OPEN: The Tomra Reverse Vending Centre in Ballina.

New touch-free option for recycling

RETURN and Earn facilities are offering extra safety measures and remain open on the Northern Rivers, except for one.

Department of Planning, Industry and Environment confirmed the reverse vending machine at Lismore City Council’s Wyrallah Road facility remains temporarily closed, but the one at Humbly Oval in Lismore remains operational, a spokesperson said.

To keep with social distancing measures, a new touch-free recycling option for returns at reverse vending machines (RVMs) has been introduced, with details available on the Return and Earn website (

Additional signage and markings on the ground have also been implemented to remind participants to maintain social distancing when returning.

The DPIE spokesperson said Return and Earn can be accessed for returns if it is in line with the most recent advice from the NSW Government Public Health Order.

“Recent orders limit the reasons for people leaving their homes without a reasonable excuse. People continuing to use the Return and Earn scheme need to ensure they comply with the latest public health orders,” he said.

“The health and wellbeing of Return and Earn participants, staff and return point operators are the primary focus in these difficult times.

“The latest updates and advice from government in relation to COVID-19 are being closely monitored and Return and Earn will follow government recommendations to ensure the safest environment possible.

To learn more about Return and Earn availability visit