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Woolworths named 1st retail partner of government recycling scheme

Australian supermarket operator Woolworths Ltd. will be the first retail refund partner of a new government recycling scheme that will be launched on Dec. 1, according to an Oct. 9 announcement.

The New South Wales "Return and Earn" container deposit scheme, which will be operated by Cleanaway and TOMRA in a joint venture partnership, allows consumers to return eligible beverage containers for recycling in exchange for a 10 cent refund. It aims to reduce litter volume by 40% by 2020.

As a partner, Woolworths plans to provide about 180 collection points in metro and regional areas of New South Wales. Reverse vending machine kiosks will also be located across the state for the return of eligible containers.

The program lets consumers choose to donate their refund to certain charities or have it refunded to their registered account via electronic payment. Customers also have the option to use the refund in the form of a credit voucher issued by the reverse vending machines, which can be used for shopping at Woolworths or can be redeemed for cash in Woolworths supermarkets across the state.