Almost every day David Williamson, known to most as 'Scooter Dave', makes the journey from his Barrack Heights home to Windang Bridge on his mobility scooter picking up cans and bottles along his way.
The former school cleaner has been turning the litter into donation money for locals in need since the Return and Earn scheme launched in 2017.
The scheme offers a 10 cent refund to consumers for returning eligible drink containers at return points across NSW.
"It gives me something to do and I'm helping people because there's always someone worse off than yourself," Mr Williamson said.
The 69-year-old living on only a pension himself said it's about thinking about others in need.
On November 6, he donated $2500 to St Vincent de Paul and another $2500 to the Illawarra Convoy, which equates to 50,000 bottles and cans returned.
"If I can give St Vincent de Paul some money then many families can afford to have a turkey or a piece of pork or something, which they normally wouldn't have had or the kids can have a couple of toys."
He has collected enough recyclables to donate about $70,000 to charities over the past six years.
Despite recovering from a serious heart scare where he was rushed to hospital three times in one week in May, Mr Williamson is adamant he'll continue donating to locals in need.
"Till the day I die, while I'm still able to, and while I still can I'll do it."
In May 2023 just a day before Mr Williamson was rushed to hospital he donated $5,000 to the Shellharbour Marine Rescue.
"If people break down in their boats they go out and they help them and bring them back in and make sure they get back home safely," Mr Williamson said in a statement.
"They're volunteers most of them and they've got to have people to help them out, their fuel and all the different things that they need the money for so I think it's a good cause to be able to donate to."
Marine Rescue NSW Illawarra Zone Duty Operations Manager Stuart Massey said in a statement ain May that Scooter Dave's donation would help the Shellharbour unit immensely.
"It's fuel in the tank, it's putting lights on, it's keeping our operation going so we can go out there and help members of the public when they're in distress on the water," he said.
Last year in November 2022 he donated $5000 to Illawarra Convoy and $5000 to the Red Cross.
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