• 2022.03.04
  • Earning Some Extra Money by Recycling Empty Cans and Bottles!
I have written about recycling before in this blog, but Australia now has recycling businesses that buy back empty cans, bottles, and plastic bottles that are manufactured in Australia and have the “10c” mark on them, for 10 cents (about 8.5 yen) each.
Ordinary households separate their garbage into recycling and burnable garbage, but recycling can’t be processed if the containers aren’t clean, or if the cardboard, paper, and the like is soiled with grease from food, which means that as things stand, not all the recycling that people put out is reused. In fact, it’s the other way round: not much of the recycling is reused.
But if you take it to a recycling specialist, it will definitely be recycled, and you get money for it, making it a win-win.
There was a report on TV about an elementary school boy who started earning spending money, collected an incredible number of empty cans and bottles, took them to the recyclers, and earned quite a large sum of money.
In this article, I’d like to tell you about my trip to the recyclers in the neighborhood with some bottles and cans (mostly beer, LOL).
There are several recyclers, but the one I went to was a relatively new (and nice) facility operated by recycling firm Tomra.

Inside the facility is a row of machines, like ticket vending machines. Everything is self-service, so you put the recycling into the machine yourself.
It was my first time there, and I was surprised to see that a lot more people were using the facility than I thought.

There is a sign inside the recycling center showing the dos and don’ts.

・You mustn’t keep any cash at the center.
・You must wear footwear. (A lot of Aussies walk around outside in bare feet.)
・You mustn’t leave the lids on.
・Children aged 12 or under must be accompanied by a parent.
・No smoking
・Bringing in anything other than recycling is prohibited.

The machine starts up when you put an empty plastic bottle, paper carton, or empty can in this hole. Inside the hole there is a conveyor belt, which quickly takes them away.

Glass bottles can break, so this is a special machine just for glass.

The machine displays the number of recycling containers you’ve put in it, and the total amount of money.

Once you’ve finished putting everything in, you get a slip of paper, like a receipt.
When you present your receipt at a Woolworths store, Australia’s largest supermarket, you get a discount equal to the amount of money on the receipt, or you can exchange it for cash.
By the way, on this occasion I got a sum of $11.50 (about 978 yen).
If you convert that to the number of cans, you get 115, which is quite a lot of beer cans (LOL).
The person who parked next to me was in a mini-van and had so many empty cans and bottles in it. I think they must have had more than 1,000. If they did have that many, they would have got 10 cents times 1,000, or $100 (about 8,500 yen). It really is “many a little makes a mickle.” But the car reeked of the smell of old beer, so when you consider how much space you need to keep that many cans, it doesn’t seem all that easy to make that amount of money.
Thanks to recyclers like this, the rate of recycling has been going up across Australia these last few years. It would be good if they started handling paper and cardboard in the near future, so that we can recycle more of it, as well as empty cans and bottles.


  • Chieko Suganuma (maiden name : Nagura)
  • JobCompany employee

She moved to Australia in 2000. She worked for a Japanese-affiliated travel agency, and then started her current position at a construction company in 2014.On her days off, she enjoys making soy candles that is a hobby of mine and walking on the beach.She hope to share rare lifestyle information from the local area with you.

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