In recognition of their efforts to reduce pollution and raise money for community organisations, Gulargambone Lions Club members have been announced as the first-ever recipients of the 2019 NSW Environmental Citizen of the Year award.
The group's embrace of the popular Return and Earn container deposit scheme has resulted in thousands of dollars being raised for the local school, families affected by drought and young people with disability.
The environmental award was given to the group by the Australia Day Council of NSW and it comes with a $5,000 donation to the Lions Club.
"It's gonna be fantastic for our town," Lions member Col Ryan said.
"We are going to put everything back into our community and make Gulargambone and even better place.
"We are so proud of this award."
The award, which is sponsored by Return and Earn, was introduced this year as a new category in the Australia Day Council of NSW Citizen of the Year Awards.
NSW Environment Protection Authority Acting Chair and CEO Mark Gifford said the award recognised those who work to improve the environment.
"The Return and Earn scheme offers 10 cents for each eligible container returned," Mr Gifford advised.
"Return and Earn has achieved outstanding success since it began; almost two billion containers returned, less litter around with a drop of 57 per cent in eligible container litter volume, and significant benefits to the NSW community through fundraising by hundreds of schools, community, charity and sporting groups."