Vaughn recycles bottles and cans to raise money for Sydney Dogs and Cats Home

Vaughn Arambatzis, of Connells Point, has been at it again - collecting cans and bottles to recycle and raise money for a cause close to his heart.

Vaughn, 13, first came up with the idea last year to collect cans and bottles to recycle through the NSW government's Return and Earn scheme and donate the proceeds to Sydney Dogs and Cats Home at Carlton as part of a school project.

While he originally planned to just recycle the family's own used containers, his mum, Barbara, posted details of the scheme on a community Facebook page, and donations rolled in.

The scheme also caught the eye of State MP for Oatley Mark Coure, who handed over a cash donation and publicised Vaughn's efforts on his social media accounts.

By the time the project ended, Vaughn had collected more than 3000 cans and bottles, and had raised $500 for the Sydney Dogs and Cats Home from both the recycling efforts and cash donations.

His efforts even earned him a mention in State Parliament.

Vaughn vowed to collect even more cans this year. He was due to complete his latest drive last month, but the closure of the Return and Earn facilities due to COVID meant he was unable to cash them in.

Before COVID-19 got in the way, he had recycled 5000 drink containers, and thousands more are waiting at home in special bins Bunnings donated to hold the used containers.

He is on track to smash the fund-raising target he set this year of $1000.

Mrs Arambatzis said: "The bottles and cans are mounting in the front yard with Return and Earn closed for lockdown. It's actually hilarious!

"We estimate there's another 5000 sitting in our front yard ready to go when Return and Earn re-opens on September 29."

Mrs Arambatzis is understandably proud of her son's efforts.

"Vaughn was shortlisted as a Westfield Local Legend and he's been nominated for a Keep Australia Beautiful award," she said.

"He's pledged that if he wins the prize money, it will go straight to the Sydney Dogs and Cats Home."