Community Collector Spotlight: A New Zealand Kindergarten going above and beyond to recycle waste

Head Teacher of Central Kids Tairua Kindergarten, Bridget Crossley started  a TerraCycle Community Collection Hub at her school in New Zealand to engage learners with alternatives to landfill, and to link to Enviroschools kaupapa, a nationwide program that helps early childhood centres and schools commit to a long-term sustainability journey.

Bridget shared a bit about how being a collector for multiple TerraCycle collection programs including Colgate oral care and Glad lunch box soft plastic recycling has supported Central Kids Tairua Kindergarten’s sustainability journey! In addition to how the kindergarten has effectively promoted their boxes to collect an astonishing 740 units of waste for the Oral Care, GLAD® Food Storage and The Collective Suckies recycling programmes. 

What are some of the benefits of recycling your waste through TerraCycle?

“It encourages Tamariki and Whānau and the wider community to participate in the programme. It’s effective and efficient. Children post the boxes at our local post shop while they are out on hikoi walks in the community so they see some of the processes.”

Do you do anything to spread awareness around your recycling efforts?

We highlight our recycling work in our newsletters which get distributed to the local library, information and school. We post notices on our local Facebook page reminding the community we are a drop-off point. Our sorting bins are all heavily signed with words and pictures. Our waste is hanging in clear bags to double the impact. Children show great responsibility in sorting their waste and sometimes ask “Is this washing or rubbish?” This gives us teaching opportunities to discuss upcycling, recycling etc.”

What has been the response from the community around your collection efforts?

“The community are really proud of the children and value the effort we make. Our community is very much focused on ensuring our beachfront settlement is free from rubbish and to be upcycling is seen as a wonderful way to reduce landfill and a critical skill to be embedded in the hearts of our children.”

Avery Arnel, Indie Bhana, Debbie Tarr (kaiako), Aaliyah Alexander, and Charles Krause.

Why should others recycle waste through TerraCycle?

“It promotes child advocacy and engages the involvement of the wider community. It is a great way for children to understand how to reduce what we send to landfill. Children share their learning with their parents.”

Are you doing other things to reduce your footprint?

“Yes we also collect plastic wrap, we have bokashi bins to have zero waste food scraps, natural resources, we have eliminated glitter and make our own glitter using sawdust, eggshells and flower petals!”

If you want to start recycling at your school, but you’re not sure how to, then check out our blog on ‘how to start recycling in your school‘.

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