How to create a sensational school recycling station

A classroom should be a place that nurtures creativity, breathes life into new ideas and generates curiosity and excitement around learning. One of the best ways to learn is to do. Discussing theories about sustainability and the environment is no doubt important, but putting that theory into practice is where you shape the habits and behaviours of the next generation.

Our network of school recyclers are leading by example. They never cease to inspire and amaze us with their flair for creating out-of-this-world recycling stations. That’s why we get pretty excited when we see some of the spectacular ways teachers are incorporating hands-on learning about sustainability in the classroom through our recycling programs. 

We know it can seem like a daunting task to collect and store rubbish in what already may be a cluttered classroom. That’s why we wanted to showcase some inspirational examples of classrooms that are taking their recycling stations to the next level!

Mimosa Public School in Sydney has set up the ultimate recycling hub in their school to recycle dental care products, writing instruments, glasses, batteries and more! We love how they’ve reused wicker baskets and old shelves, repurposing them as a recycling station. The hub is well adorned with accepted item posters to educate students about what can and can’t be recycled!

Mimosa made the rainbow of bottles out of bits of micro and macro plastic that their students collected from our Clean Up Mimosa Day last year and from plastic waste in their local park and shopping centre car park. There are over 1000 pieces of plastic in the rainbow that won’t be washed down a drain, or that will stay out of landfill as a result. 

Only About Children Caringbah in New South Wales created this wonderful recycling station for their school, to encourage their students to collect oral care waste for the Colgate Community Garden Challenge. 

The collection station is perfectly situated in a school corridor so students can easily access it, dropping in old toothbrushes and empty toothpaste tubes. We also love how they’ve printed out the accepted item posters, to reduce contamination and provide information on how TerraCycle works, to educate students about recycling.

Oxley State School in Queensland made this creative and crafty collection box to recycle their students’ oral care waste for the Colgate Community Garden Challenge.

We absolutely love how they’ve featured student artworks of wildlife and nature to serve as a constant reminder of why recycling is so important. 

Champion Bay Senior High School in Western Australia outdid themselves with the small, compact collection box that can be easily stored or displayed in any classroom. This is a great inspiration for teachers who are looking to recycle smaller items such as dental care products or pens. Even a small box will do the trick. 

We hope this has sparked some ideas for how you can turn rubbish recycling into a creative and educational project for your students to enjoy. If you’ve got a bedazzled collection box make sure you share it on social media and tag TerraCycle for a chance to be spotlighted on our socials, or better yet – it could win you an ultimate community garden kit for your school grounds!

We are currently running our Colgate Community Garden Challenge for 2022 and there are seven grand prizes to be won. If your DIY collection box for oral care is selected as one of the most impressive, you can earn 500 Garden Points. Learn more about how to get your school involved here.

If you’re looking for more items to recycle in your classroom, we have a wide range of programs in New Zealand and Australia that are great for schools. What’s more, by recycling through many of our programs you can earn TerraCycle Points, which can be redeemed and donated to a charity or not-for-profit organisation of your choice – including your school! 

Here are a few of our top free school recycling programs below:



Oral care

Lunchbox soft plastics

New Zealand 

Lunchbox soft plastics

Oral care

Hair care and colour packaging

Or check out the Zero Waste Boxes on our to recycle more hard-to-recycle rubbish at school.

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