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TerraCycle – Finding Creative Uses for Non-Recyclable Waste! Wow!

TerraCycle are ‘Global Recyclcing Pioneers’ who work to find ways to make the unrecyclable – recyclable! (Try saying that five times fast)

Here’s what they do and who they’ve worked with recently!

What is TerraCycle?

TerraCycle is a global company (with a US base) who are actively engaged in creating a more sustainable world. They look for ways they can work with everyone from individuals to big business to collect all kinds of waste to be repurposed into something else! Wow!

They work in around 20 countries (including Australia) and have so far saved an incredible amount of discarded material from going to landfill or incineration.

You can use their search bar to tell them what you’re looking to get rid of and get involved!

You can earn rewards and resources (particularly if you’re a school… more on that later), learn about upcycling, use their  “zero waste recycling” boxes and give links to some big business types you know about large-scale recycling.

All of those things you thought couldn’t be recycled (coffee pods, toothbrushes, all manner of household flotsam and jetsam) COULD be repurposed using TerraCycle. You only need to ask.

We think they’re AWESOME! And you know who else does?

TerraCycle and Rochedale State School

In March 2018, Rochedale State School won a competition supported by Colgate and TerraCycle as to who could donate the most toothcare waste products (think rolled up tubes of toothpaste, old toothbrushes and the like!).

These lucky, resourceful winners took home a $1000 cash prize as well as a totally cool recycled bench for their school. Better than that, though, were the lessons the kids learned about recycling and sustainability.

Real-world lessons about real-life sustainability

Holly Blacker from Rochedale State School said the program has shaped students’, and the community’s, ideas on waste and recycling.

“The students were shocked to discover the amount of toothbrushes that get thrown out on average each year. Now, once a month, our school community sends in their old and used oral care products for recycling and the lovely ladies in the office box them up and send them to TerraCycle for us.”

In our throw away culture, it’s important that kids learn about the true cost of thoughtlessly piffing something into a bin. With the phase out of plastic bags continuing nation-wide, it’s up to us to keep talking about how we can change the course of history and make a real difference when it comes to the environment.

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Janine Mergler

Janine Mergler is a veteran Queensland teacher, graduating from QUT with a BEd majoring in Social Sciences. After many years in the classroom, Janine moved on to academia. She has proudly trained new generations of teachers in her role as a lecturer at Queensland University of Technology Faculty of Education. She has also worked in the Queensland Government as an education specialist, developing education resources and delivering community awareness programs to help families conserve water. Currently she is the owner and editor of Families Magazine, a publication specifically targeted at parents who value a quality education for children.  Janine leads a team of professionals who write about family lifestyle, early childhood, schools and education information and family-friendly events.

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