Circular Economy

Competition gives Aussie kids chance to win upcycled community garden

Australian school students will once again have the chance to win an upcycled community garden set by diverting all their oral care products from landfill, thanks to a recycling competition run by Colgate, Chemist Warehouse and TerraCycle.

Between February 22 and September 30, 2019, the Colgate Community Garden Challenge invites pre-schools, primary and secondary schools nationwide to collect all brands of oral care and send it to TerraCycle, who will give the waste a second life by creating new products.

Five recycled community garden sets will be awarded to five schools, with each set including 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.

Besides showing how recycled materials can be used as a sustainable alternative to virgin plastic, Colgate, Chemist Warehouse and TerraCycle hope the sets will promote gardening and healthy eating among schools.

“With the success of the program in 2018, Colgate is thrilled to be giving kids the opportunity to win a recycled community garden set for the second time,” said Julie Dillon, Colgate vice-president and general manager of South Pacific.

“Hearing about the extraordinary efforts of the kids to recycle all their oral care waste and promote sustainability in their communities is something we expect to see a lot more of this year.”

Three winners will be the schools that recycle the most oral care waste and earn the most online votes from the community, while the other two winners will be drawn at random. By sending at least one shipment of accepted oral care waste to TerraCycle, schools earn one entry into the draw to win a recycled community garden set.

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.

Additionally, in monthly prize draws, schools will have the chance to win a pack of 60 upcycled pencil cases made from recycled toothpaste tubes – another example of how oral care waste can become valuable new product.

“For the second year running, Chemist Warehouse is honoured to team up with Colgate to once again support the Colgate Community Garden challenge in 2019,” added Mario Tascone, Chemist Warehouse Group COO.

“Open to all young Australian students, this exciting initiative helps to educate kids about the importance of recycling, upcycling and keeping as much waste out of landfill as possible.

“We’re looking forward to building on the success that was achieved in 2018 where over 200,000 pieces of oral care waste were diverted from landfill – an amazing result!”

On top of the diversion results achieved from last years’ Colgate Community Garden Challenge, the competition saw 813 schools signed up to the program and 78,000 votes entered online supporting local schools.

“At TerraCycle, we love promoting ways to keep ‘non-recyclable’ items out of landfill,” said Jean Bailliard, general manager of TerraCycle Australia and New Zealand.

“By giving Australian kids the chance to take the lead on recycling on behalf of their school and community, we’re all working hard to ‘Eliminate the Idea of Waste’.”

The Colgate Community Garden Challenge is part of the broader Oral Care Recycling Program sponsored by Colgate. Since its launch in 2014, the program has enabled Australians to divert over 665,000 pieces of oral care waste from landfill and raise over $12,000 for schools and charities.

To join the competition, schools are encouraged to visit TerraCycle’s website to access posters and resources to get started and watch their competition ranking on a digital leaderboard. Individuals can also vote for their nominated school by clicking here.