2020 NSW Environmental Citizen of the Year
Congratulations to this year's NSW Environmental Citizen of the Year, Robert 'Bob' Jolley. Bob, an 81-year-old eco-warrior from south-west Riverina, was announced winner of the award on 5 June, World Environment Day.
Bob – fondly referred to in his community as ‘Bottle-O-Bob’ – has proactively raised more than $25,000 for his local skatepark and other community programs in the Wentworth Shire by collecting bottles and cans for recycling at Return and Earn collection points. He's currently splitting his earnings between a new daycare centre and a youth centre.
From the amount of money Bob has donated, it’s estimated he’s collected more than 294,000 bottles and cans that will no longer end up in landfill.
Chair of the Australia Day Council of NSW, Andrew Parker, said Bob was selected for his commitment and generosity in donating all the profits from his efforts to local projects.
Bob said he was humbled to receive the award. "It has infused new enthusiasm into my old bones to encourage other community members to join a team effort," he said.
"There are so many worthwhile community projects to consider in the future. I will continue collecting cans and bottles until I am unable to."
As part of winning the award Bob receives $5,000, which he will be donating towards his chosen community project.
About the award
Each Australia Day communities are invited by their local councils to participate in the NSW Local Citizen of the Year Awards. The awards recognise outstanding achievements by individuals and organisations within local communities.
The NSW Environmental Citizen of the Year Award recognises outstanding efforts by individuals or organisations to preserve the environment, reduce litter and improve recycling, or use the Return and Earn scheme in an innovative way to fundraise for a meaningful cause.
The award is sponsored by Return and Earn – the largest litter reduction program ever undertaken in NSW – because these finalists share Return and Earn’s ultimate goal of improving the environment across NSW.
Congratulations to this year’s finalists, who have been recognised for their important contributions to waste reduction and local environmental initiatives.