Reverse Vending Machine

News Date: (17 November, 2012)

Reverse Vending Machines (RVM's) Hit The City!

On Saturday 17th November 2012, at the annual Beaufort Street Festival, Western Australia saw the very first operational Reverse Vending Machine in action (the Case Study can be viewed here).

The reverse vending machine has been collaboratively secured, through local councils and WALGA (Western Australia Local Government Association), for the use of local governments to aid the promotion of container deposit and rally support for container deposit legislation Australia wide.

The Reverse Vending Machine was brought over to Perth by EnviroBank based in Sydney for the use of Perth councils over a one month period. This one month period will provide councils with an indication of the levels of support, enthusiasm and requirements for permanent recycling facilities at events and prominent City locations.

What is a Reverse Vending Machine?

Reverse Vending Machines harness new technology that allows aluminum cans and PET plastic bottles to be recycled without the risk of contamination. Once the empty drink container is deposited into the machine, it is scanned to identify the material, crushed to reduce the size of the material and then separated into the relevant material holding which can then be removed and recycled.

Why do we need a Reverse Vending Machine?

Approximately 40% of household waste is made up of recyclable materials, however a much smaller percentage is actually recycled. This is largely due to contamination.

The machine does not allow foreign materials to be processed and when identified they are automatically rejected which allows for 100% of materials to be recycled. This particular reverse vending machine model can hold up to 3000 crushed containers. A ticket was printed for each container deposited which was redeemable for 10 cents at the Beaufort Street Festival.

Container Deposit Legislation

Reverse Vending Machines assist the container deposit scheme by accepting used beverage containers in return for monetary or non-monetary rewards such as a voucher or coupon etc. The type of incentive is largely dependent on state legislation.

Machines such as the one provided to the City from EnviroBank has long been utilized around the world and is now at our fingertips!

The Reverse Vending Machine is set to reappear in Vincent on the 8th of December for the Leederville Festival.

For further information please contact the City's Project Officer - Parks & Environment, Jackie Parker on 9273 6027 or by email at