Recycled playground unveiled in Gold Coast school

by Melanie Basta
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Park Lake State School in Gold Coast, Queensland recently unveiled a playground made of recycled beauty products after winning the Garnier Recycled Playground Competition.

For the initiative run by Garnier and TerraCycle, Australian schools and preschools collected and recycled empty beauty products to raise awareness about waste and recycling. Park Lake State School was the competition’s top collector and winner of the $45,000 recycled playground made with beauty product waste.

“It’s really about the kids driving it,” says Ursula Carty, principal at Park Lake State School. “We’ve got four student leaders that lead the school with the Eco Marines program.”

Looking at the year ahead, Carty is hopeful about keeping the momentum going for sustainable practices and maintaining quality facilities across the school.

“There are endless challenges around managing facilities,” she says. “To be honest, we desperately needed more playground equipment. This school is only 10 years old, and it has grown larger than its capacity. We have to get really clever about finding ways for kids to play. We don’t want to split lunch times.

“We look at expenses and don’t want to lose the garden space in the school. We can’t just whack some concrete down. We’ve got to think about the bigger footprint as well.”

Carty suggests other school principals engage with state and local councillors to build partnerships with small businesses and make things happen.

“Curriculum delivery is important. Have your student council involved. It’s our job to raise awareness and then allow the students to drive the initiatives. It needs to be a community affair, otherwise you won’t get it off the ground,” she says.

Image courtesy of TerraCycle

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