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Aussie students turn to recycling as COVID-19 crisis hits


30 May 2020 at 8:00 am
Luke Michael
A nationwide recycling competition is offering schools a chance to win one of seven community garden sets, which are made from recycled materials  


Luke Michael | 30 May 2020 at 8:00 am


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Aussie students turn to recycling as COVID-19 crisis hits
30 May 2020 at 8:00 am

A nationwide recycling competition is offering schools a chance to win one of seven community garden sets, which are made from recycled materials  

Young students across Australia have been making the most of the COVID-19 lockdown, diligently collecting oral care waste from home to help their school compete in a national recycling program.

The Colgate Community Garden Challenge asks students to donate any used non-electric toothbrushes, toothpaste tubes, electric toothbrush heads, interdental brushes and floss containers to recycling company TerraCycle.

The company remoulds the waste into plastic pellets to be used to make new products such as garden beds, park benches and even playgrounds.

Colgate, Chemist Warehouse and TerraCycle, are donating seven community garden sets, made from recycled materials, as major prizes in the competition.

Preschoolers at Goodstart Early Learning Centre in Heidelberg, Victoria, are among those taking part in the competition.

“We decided to join this years’ Colgate Community Garden Challenge to teach our children important life skills such as respect, empathy, patience, responsibility and consequences,” Zoe Love from Goodstart said.

“During isolation, most families have been collecting in bulk and bringing their items to the centre in bags. We also work with Heidelberg Dentist to further encourage the children to recycle their used oral care products.”

So far in the competition, more than 30,000 pieces of oral care waste have been shipped to TerraCycle.

Jean Bailliard, general manager of TerraCycle Australia, said while current restrictions meant recycling wasn’t an immediate priority for everyone, he was happy to see students getting involved from home.

“It’s very inspiring to see Australian school students collecting their ‘non-recyclables’ from home,” Bailliard said.

“While this is not an ideal situation for many, it’s very encouraging to see young people taking the initiative to keep the momentum of the competition going in their communities.”

You can find out more about the competition here.   


Luke Michael  |  Journalist  |  @luke_michael96

Luke Michael is a journalist at Pro Bono News covering the social sector.

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