Anne Cherry has been volunteering with Wildlife Rescue South Coast since she moved to Nowra four years ago.
She looks after birds, flying foxes and - her favourite - ringtail possums, until they can be released into the wild again.
Caring for the animals can be costly for volunteers who pay for the animals' food including a specialised formula similar to milk for baby mammals.
"One volunteer, with assistance from other members, is caring for 30 joeys at the moment," Anne said.
"That's about $40 per day to feed them."
Anne noticed how much litter was around when she picked up injured animals, and how it sometimes harmed animals, such as when baby seabirds and land birds would get tangled in plastic.
"Ringtails and other animals eat native vegetation, so we're always going out into the bush to find food for them, and I kept seeing how much rubbish was out there," Anne said.
She and the other volunteers always made a habit of picking up any litter they found, but with the launch of Return and Earn they decided to put the rubbish to good use and return bottles and cans for the 10c refund apiece.
Wildlife Rescue South Coast also partnered with Return and Earn to be featured as a donation partner on local TOMRA Reverse Vending Machines, allowing consumers to direct their 10c refunds to the charity.
The funds raised are put towards subsidising costs for volunteers.
"We're getting around 3000 containers - or $300 - per month now. It goes quite a way to helping feed the orphaned and injured animals," said Anne.
She hopes the container deposit scheme will improve the local environment for wildlife too.
"The more people are encouraged to recycle the less pollution will be out there," she said.