How to turn your toothbrush into a community garden

The list of household items you can recycle just keeps growing – now you can even give toothbrushes a new, green lease on life.

Australians are more recycling-savvy than ever, as we become more aware of the harmful environmental impacts of waste.

It’s never been easier to buy and sell pre-loved goods, turn old clothes into useful items like bags, or BYO reusable coffee cups or plastic straws.

Even “scrunchable” plastics are now recyclable, through schemes like REDcycle.

But even once“unrecycleable” items like oral care products, coffee capsules and pens can now be upcycled, thanks an innovative scheme.

TerraCycle recycles waste and turns it into plastic pellets to make new products such as benches, picnic tables, and playgrounds.

And now Aussie kids can get in on the action – just by collecting toothpaste tubes, caps and packaging, floss containers, and toothbrushes and their packaging.

By turning trash into treasure, they will have a chance to win a recycled community garden set for their school.

Five garden sets – each including garden beds, benches, a bin, sign and $500 Bunnings voucher – are up for grabs in the Colgate Community Garden Challenge.

The challenge, run by Chemist Warehouse, Colgate and TerraCycle, asks pre-, primary and secondary schools to collect oral care waste and send it to TerraCycle until October 31.

Oral waste recycling terracycle

How the Colgate Community Garden Challenge works

Children can then ask their parents, families, community and friends to help them earn ‘Garden Points’ through an online vote at – the more votes, the more chances of winning.

Participants accrue Garden Points for waste received by TerraCycle and votes received online.

The three schools that accrue the most total Garden Points (based on the weight of the total amount of shipments and total number of votes) will each win a recycled community garden set.

Participants will also receive one entry in the final prize draw for sending in at least one shipment of waste. The first two valid entries drawn on November 7, 2018, will receive a final prize.

Join the challenge to eliminate waste

TerraCycle Australia general manager Jean Bailliard says TerraCycle wants to “eliminate the idea of waste”.

Julie Dillon, vice-president and general manager of Colgate South Pacific, says the Colgate Community Garden Challenge gives kids the opportunity to win a recycled community garden set while reducing landfill.

Chemist Warehouse Group chief operating officer Mario Tascone says: “At Chemist Warehouse, we encourage Australians to be conscious of the environment and practice sustainable ways of living.”

Colgate’s Oral Care Recycling Program has enabled Australians to divert more than 200,000 pieces of oral care waste from landfill since 2014.

To join the Colgate Community Garden Challenge or for full terms, including details about the prizes and prize draws visit

While you’re here, why not learn more about why healthy teeth are good for your health, and how to prevent dental cavities in children.

Limits on draw entries & votes apply. Judged on weight of total shipments and number of votes 7/11/18. Final Prize winners notified by 9/11/18 and names published on website. Participants also receive 1 entry in Monthly Prize draw for any shipment of waste received by TerraCycle during the relevant month. See website for details of Final Prizes, Monthly Prize & 2nd chance draws. Total prize pool: $38,855. Sponsor is Colgate-Palmolive P/L. Promoter:Terracycle Aust. Authorised under [NSW Permit No LTPS/18/21692], [SA No T18/172] and [ACT Permit No TP18/00284].

 This post is brought to you by Colgate. Written by Sally Heppleston,