St Bernardine’s wants your old toothbrush

​St Bernardine’s students are learning and hopefully earning from recycling old toothbrushes

​COLLECTING old toothbrushes and used up oral care products could help a group of students at St Bernardine’s School, Regents Park, win a recycled garden set for their school.

The ecologically-minded students are seeking old toothbrushes, toothpaste tubes and floss containers and a vote online to win a prize in the national Colgate Community Garden Challenge.

Run by Colgate, Chemist Warehouse and global recycling pioneers TerraCycle, the Colgate Community Garden Challenge invited preschools, primary and secondary schools nationwide to collect all brands of oral care waste and send it to TerraCycle, who will turn it into new products.

Running from February to September, the competition encourages schools to learn about sustainability through 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 frame.

Five recycled community garden sets will be awarded to five schools, with each set consisting of 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, the garden sets also promotes gardening and healthy eating in schools.

Julie Lawson, from St Bernardine’s Parents and Friends Association, said recycling was important in order to live more sustainably and be role models for future generations.

“It’s important to divert plastics from (rubbish) tips and landfill sites because they don’t break down for hundreds of years,” Ms Lawson said.

“Every tip needs less rubbish in it, especially plastic.

“If we turn our oral hygiene waste items into new things, we can all live more sustainably for a healthier planet and exemplify behaviour change to the children of the next generation.”

Logan residents are encouraged to drop their used oral-care products off and vote for the school online at

Colgate vice-president Julie Dillon and Chemist Warehouse Group chief operating officer Mario Tascone 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,” Mrs Dillon said.

“We would like to thank all the participants and wish them the very best of luck.”

TerraCycle Australia and New Zealand general manager Jean Bailliard said TerraCycle staff liked to think of creative ways to solve the waste crisis.

“By giving Australian kids the chance to take the lead on recycling on behalf of their school and community we’re getting them to think outside the box and, at the same time, encouraging sustainability for the future,” she said.

To join the competition visit where schools can access posters and resources to get started and watch their competition ranking on a digital leader board.

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