Published On: May 13th, 2019

Sustainability champions who have worked to reduce litter and encourage recycling through the NSW Return and Earn scheme could win one of two new $5,000 prizes in the 2019 Keep Australia Beautiful NSW Sustainable Cities and Sustainable Communities – Tidy Towns Awards.

Return and Earn, the NSW container deposit scheme that refunds 10 cents for every eligible drink container returned, has teamed up with Keep Australia Beautiful NSW to sponsor two $5,000 prizes for outstanding litter prevention work – with one prize for work in the state’s cities and one for work in regional towns and communities.

This year is the first time the cash prizes have been offered to groups that have engaged with or worked to promote Return and Earn, the largest litter-reduction initiative ever undertaken in NSW.

Entries are now open and Peter Bruce, CEO of Return and Earn scheme coordinator Exchange for Change, urged eligible community, sporting and school groups to nominate for their chance to win.

“Return and Earn sees this partnership with Keep Australia Beautiful NSW as a natural fit because both organisations are working to reduce litter in the NSW environment,” Mr Bruce said.

“Return and Earn has been a great success, with almost 1.8 billion containers collected and a significant reduction in eligible container litter across the state over the past year.

“By nominating an environmental champion for a Keep Australia Beautiful NSW award, you can recognise and thank them for their commitment to keeping our environment clean for the enjoyment of everyone.”

Keep Australia Beautiful NSW CEO Val Southam said each $5,000 prize is an addition to the awards presented each year by Keep Australia Beautiful NSW to groups working to help reach the goal of making NSW the least-littered state in Australia.

“You have to be in it to win it, so make sure your local school or community group enters their project and let us know how you have used Return and Earn to raise funds,” Ms Southam said.

The Sustainable Cities and Sustainable Communities – Tidy Towns awards have been running since 1995 and 1981 respectively to recognise and reward the hard work undertaken by individuals and groups in urban and rural communities across NSW.

“The awards enable these groups to share their experiences, ideas and results to continue to improve our vibrant metro areas and rural towns,” Ms Southam said.

Entries for all categories of the Keep Australia Beautiful NSW Sustainable Cities Awards and Sustainable Communities – Tidy Towns Awards, including the Return and Earn Litter Prevention Awards, close on Monday, 8 July.

For more information on eligibility and conditions and to enter the awards, visit our Sustainable Communities – Tidy Towns and Sustainable Cities program pages.