A recent $6000 donation has supported Cessnock District Rescue Squad's involvement in the Public Access Defibrillation program.
The donation - which was made jointly by LJ Hooker Cessnock, ECBC Sports club and Masonicare - allowed the volunteer rescue association to purchase a defibrillator and oxygen resuscitation kit.
The funds were raised through the Return and Earn container deposit scheme, which provides a 10-cent refund for eligible bottles and cans.
LJ Hooker Cessnock principal Bryce Gibson has been collecting returnable containers from various locations and returning them via reverse vending machines over the past several months.
ECBC Sports' members and guests donated over 20,000 containers, with Mr Gibson's fellow Freemasons from Lodge Paxton also contributing to the effort.
Coupled with financial contributions from Masonicare (the grand charity of Freemasons NSW & ACT) and LJ Hooker Cessnock, a total of $6000 was raised.
Mr Gibson said it is always great to support the local community.
"Not only are we recycling containers, we are also saving extra costs to businesses for the disposal of waste," he said.
Rescue squad spokesperson James Harris said the new kits will provide further life-saving equipment for use in the local community.
"We would like to thank everyone involved for their generous support. Once they found out about the program, they made it their mission to provide us with additional kits to support our role," he said.