Principal Anja Janosevic with Brae Bartlett, Harley Shaw, Jakob Strauf, Ruby Beil, and Zayne Bartlett.
Principal Anja Janosevic with Brae Bartlett, Harley Shaw, Jakob Strauf, Ruby Beil, and Zayne Bartlett. Madeline Grace

Small school goes big in national recycling comp

AGAINST all the odds of being a small regional school, Taabinga State School has placed second in a nationwide competition for recycling oral hygiene products.

The recycling competition was run by Colgate, Chemist Warehouse and global recycling pioneers, TerraCycle.

The Colgate Community Garden Challenge had over 1100 schools nationwide collecting all brands of oral care waste to send to TerraCycle, where they were recycled and turned into new products.

The program ran from February to September and encouraged schools to learn about sustainability by seeing how waste that would normally be sent to landfill, can be given a second life and made into a new product such as a garden bed.

Taabinga State School Principal Anja Janosevic said she was immensely proud of her students and staff for whole-heartedly embracing the community recycling initiative.

"We've been collecting toothpaste containers, dental products, empty toiletries and make up, as well as empty packaging,” she said.

"We were up against a range of other schools and were the smallest school by far in the top five.

"All top five winners won three garden beds, two benches, and one $500 Bunnings gift voucher.”

Ms Janosevic said the competition was a worth while program and encouraged their students to recycle.

"It's taught them a lot of sustainability and recycling,” she said.

"But it's also taught them how important it is to reach out to your community.

"There's no way we would have been able to pull this off without all of the support from teachers, students, their friends and families, and the entire community.

"We relied heavily on community members to bring us their recycled oral hygiene products. Our win shows what can be achieved when a close-knit rural community bands together.”

The prize pack was valued at over $6000 and will include three garden beds made from recycled products, two custom made benches, and the $500 Bunnings Warehouse gift voucher to go towards setting up the new gardens.