Soon, residents of Brecon will be paid to recycle, with the launch of Brecon’s innovative Scan|Recycle|Reward recycling trial, beginning on 13 July. It follows a host of other countries, including many in Europe, already offering a cash incentive for certain types of recycling.

The trial is designed to test how digital technology can be used to encourage more recycling, and will last 12 weeks. The Scan|Recycle|Reward trial will begin this month, with welcome packs for Brecon residents arriving in the post from July 13. 

The welcome pack will contain everything needed to get started with the Digital Deposit Return Scheme trial, including an introductory letter, an information leaflet and a set of stickers to apply to household recycling containers. Trial participants will be able to claim cash rewards by scanning uniquely labelled drink containers with their mobile phones before recycling at home, through their normal kerbside recycling collection, or using various ‘on the go’ return points around the town. 

The uniquely labelled drinks containers will be available to buy from shops within Brecon.

Councillor Jackie Charlton, Cabinet Member for a Greener Powys, said, “From 13 July every eligible household in Brecon will start to receive their Scan|Recycle|Reward welcome pack through the post.  Although completely voluntary, we are hoping that as many people as possible join in with this exciting trial and benefit from the cash rewards on offer. For every container scanned and recycled correctly, participants will have the choice to ‘cash in’ their reward or donate it to the Brecon Food Bank and the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales, our two nominated local charities. 

“This trial will help us understand people’s preferred return options for recycling these drinks containers and help us learn more about recycling behaviour. This will be the first time anywhere in the world that a whole town will use this new technology and the findings will be analysed and shared with the rest of the UK, putting Brecon at the forefront of recycling innovation. 

“For those living in Brecon who want to find out more about the Scan|Recycle|Reward trial, there will be a drop-in session at y Gaer on Tuesday 18 July, between 10am and 5pm. Everyone would be very welcome to attend.” 

Minister for Climate Change, Julie James said, “I am grateful to Powys County Council and the Digital Deposit Return Scheme Alliance who have led on the development and implementation of this trial. Most importantly a massive thank you to the people of Brecon, as their involvement and engagement is what will make this pilot a successful and an invaluable learning experience, which will help shape the roll-out of a Deposit Return Scheme across Wales. 

“In committing to introducing a Deposit Return Scheme for drink containers, our aim is not only to drive Wales’s recycling rate higher as a key action to tackle the climate and nature emergency but also to significantly improve on-the-go recycling and tackle the littering of bottles and cans in our communities. This trial is important in understanding and testing how best to operate a digital scheme in an existing community and will gather information on the consumer response and how innovative technology can be used in operating a DRS.” 

The QR code on eligible products
Consumers are being asked to keep an eye out for this QR code on eligible products (Powys County Council)

Retailers are being asked to look out for eligible products which include a unique QR code. Included in the trial are PET plastic bottles, with the following symbol. They come in the form of soft drinks, bottled water, fruit and vegetables juices (long life), milk and milk alternatives (long life), breakfast drinks (long life), single serving juices, smoothies, dairy drinks (chilled), energy and vitamin drinks, mixers, such as tonic and soda water. Soft drinks in aluminium and steel cans are part of the trial, but only if packed in 50ml to 3l containers.

PET symbol
The PET plastic bottle symbols are eligible (Powys County Council)

A full list of retailers participating can be found below:


Bargain Booze


Brecon Leisure Centre

Certas Energy (Gulf with Spar)


Cost Cutter (Brecon Infantry Battle School)


Country Kitchen


Himal Spices

Holland & Barrett


Morrisons forecourt

Premier (Brecon Convenience)



The Original Factory Shop

160th Brigade Mess

The trial is being led by the DDRS Alliance, in partnership with Welsh Government, WRAP Cymru, Powys County Council and local retailers. More information on the Scan|Recycle|Reward trial, including instructions on how to take part, and details of all the ‘on the go’ recycling points, are available online: