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    Philippa On The Ice Philippa Werry at an Antarctic research camp 2016

New Zealand Science Teacher

Science Education & Society

Schools turn trash into treasure

TerraCycle puts forward a recycling challenge for Kiwi schools.

Do you save your chocolate wrappers and toothpaste cartons? Or do they go straight in the bin? TerraCycle is teaming up with more than 200 Kiwi schools to do something productive with household waste.

More than 200 New Zealand schools are taking part in a recycling programme instigated by TerraCycle.

The project involves saving packaging such as muesli bar wrappers and pasta packets from landfill and using them to raise funds for a local project. Items are repurposed with the help of volunteer ‘brigades’.

The hope is that the initiative will get students and their parents thinking about what is thrown away every day. At the same time, collected wrappers will earn a donation of two cents per piece, to be paid to the school or a charity of the collector’s choice.

To participate in the programme, schools, and community groups are able to send in waste using free-post stickers, once officially signed up to TerraCycle online.  

The collected waste will then be recycled into affordable, sustainable products and materials.

“We’re delighted by the fantastic community response from local schools setting up community hubs for recycling and showing keen interest in our programmes” says TerraCycle New Zealand, General Manager Anna Minns.

The ‘brigade’ system is also an education tool to engage students in sustainability issues and would work well in a classroom setting. In addition, the programme is running a nationwide design competition.

The ‘Box that Rocks’ contest calls for a creative solution to collecting the wrappers, in the form of a box made entirely from upcycled waste items. This ‘monument to recycling’ will be broadcast on social media, and the prize winner decided by public voting.

To learn more about TerraCycle’s project or to sign up to a brigade today, visit www.terracycle.co.nz

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