Taabinga State School in Kingaroy are fighting tooth and nail  to be crowned the winner of this years' Colgate Community Garden Challenge.
Taabinga State School in Kingaroy are fighting tooth and nail to be crowned the winner of this years' Colgate Community Garden Challenge. Contributed

Local school battles city to win recycling challenge

TAABINGA State School is fighting tooth and nail against Rochedale State School in Brisbane to claim first place for the nationwide recycling challenge for oral care waste.

Schools have until the end of September to collect as many used toothbrushes, toothpaste tubes and floss containers from their local community, and to vote for their school online to have a chance to win a recycled community garden set.

Taabinga State School teacher, Stephanie Tognola, said the program was important because traditional recycling was very limited in Kingaroy.

"We wanted to bring recycling back to Kingaroy and TerraCycle has allowed us to do just that,” she said.

"Since signing up to their programs last year, we've started conversations among our students and within the wider community regarding what can and can't be recycled.

"We now have bins located throughout our school where the community can drop off their items.”

Run through a partnership between Colgate, Chemist Warehouse and global recycling pioneers TerraCycle, the Colgate Community Garden Challenge invites all preschool, primary, intermediate, special and secondary schools in Australia to register, collect and ship all their oral care waste to TerraCycle who will turn it into new products.

A total of five schools will win a community garden set, with three schools who collect the most waste and earn the most votes online and the other two winning schools will be drawn from a prize draw.  

Each recycled community garden set awarded to the five winning schools will include: three garden beds, two custom-made benches, three customised garden plaques made from recycled oral care waste, plus a $500 Bunnings Warehouse voucher you can use to buy seeds and plants (Total RRP $33,677.15).

So far in the competition, 50,000 pieces of oral care waste have been shipped to TerraCycle and 60,000 votes have been cast online.

Colgate Vice President and General Manager of South Pacific, Julie Dillon, and Chemist Warehouse Group COO, Mario Tascone, have expressed their excitement. 

"So far in the competition, Colgate has been very encouraged to see the students' 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,” Julie Dillon said.

"Chemist Warehouse is thrilled to see the remarkable progress of the Colgate Community Garden Challenge in schools across the country, with 40,000 pieces of oral care waste already collected and as a result diverted from landfill,” Mario Tascone said.

"We're proud of all the hard work going in to recycling oral care waste that would otherwise be destined for landfill.” 

The results achieved from last years' Colgate Community Garden Challenge saw an incredible 200,000 pieces of oral care waste diverted from landfill, 813 schools signed up to the program and 78,000 votes entered online supporting local schools.