Helensvale leading the way in nationwide recycling challenge
Children attending Helensvale State School are currently in first place in a nationwide competition to see who can recycle the most oral case waste, such as empty toothpaste and floss cases. The competition, which is also open to preschools and outside school hours care services around Australia, will see five winning pre-schools or schools walk away with a recycled community garden set.
Oral care waste – that is old toothbrushes, toothpaste tubes and floss containers – can be turned into useful products. To demonstrate the value of the resources many Australian’s don’t recycle, Colgate, Chemist Warehouse and TerraCycle have teamed up for the The Colgate Community Garden Challenge, in which pre-schools, primary and secondary schools nationwide are asked to collect all brands of oral care waste and send it to TerraCycle who will turn it into new products.
The competition, which runs from February to September, encourages children to learn about sustainability by seeing how waste that would normally be just thrown out, can be given a second life and made into a new product such as a garden bed. Prize winners will receive one of five recycled community garden sets made with oral care waste. Each set includes three garden beds, two custom-made benches, three customised garden plaques made from recycled oral care waste, plus a $500 gardening voucher to buy seeds and plants.
Aside from demonstrating the way in which recycled materials can be used as a sustainable alternative to creating new plastic using raw materials, Colgate, Chemist Warehouse and TerraCycle hope the sets will promote gardening and healthy eating for children.
A representative from the Helensvale State School P&C said that since starting the challenge this year, students and their parents had been busy collecting waste in their brand new recycling station. Through setting up a public recycling station, the school has received enough donations to put them in the front running to win a garden set.
Colgate Vice President and General Manager of South Pacific, Julie Dillon, and Chemist Warehouse Group COO, Mario Tascone, expressed their excitement.
“So far in the competition, Colgate has been very encouraged to see children’s recycling efforts and enthusiasm to promote sustainability within their community. We would like to thank all the participants and wish them the very best of luck,” said Mrs Dillon.
“Chemist Warehouse is thrilled to see the remarkable progress of the Colgate Community Garden Challenge in schools all around Australia,” said Mr Tascone. “We’re proud of all the hard work going in to recycling oral care waste that would otherwise be destined for landfill.”
General Manager of TerraCycle Australia and New Zealand, Jean Bailliard, said that by giving Australian children the chance to take the lead on recycling on behalf of their community, “we’re getting them to think outside the box and, at the same time, encouraging sustainability for the future.”
To join the competition, visit www.terracycle.com.au/colgategarden to access posters and resources to get started. Once registered, this is also the space to watch competition rankings on a digital leaderboard. Individuals can also vote for their education site at www.terracycle.com.au/colgategardenvoting
The five winners will be comprised of the three entries that recycle the most oral care waste and earn the most online votes from the community, with two other winners will be drawn at random.
By sending at least one shipment of accepted oral waste to TerraCycle, education sites earn one entry into the draw. Accepted oral care waste includes: any brand of post-consumed toothpaste tubes and caps, non-electric toothbrushes and packaging, toothbrush and toothpaste tube outer packaging and floss containers.
There are monthly prize draws too, with a chance to win a pack of 60 upcycled pencil cases made from recycled toothpaste tubes – another example of how oral care waste can become a valuable new product.
Competition entry, terms and conditions, rules and an interactive leaderboard can be found at www.terracycle.com.au/colgategarden.