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Burlington County Elementary School Rewarded With New Playground For Recycling Efforts

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Students at a Burlington County, New Jersey elementary school are the winners of a brand new playground thanks to their recycling efforts. The playground itself is made from recycled materials.

The ribbon was cut Wednesday for the new playground at Hawthorne Park Elementary School in Willingboro.

Old tooth brushes, plastic floss containers and toothpaste tubes are among the items re-purposed to make the playground.

"The slide is actually really fun and the rock wall is really fun also," said 3rd grader Halie Henry.

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So was it worth it?

"Yep, I think so, because if we didn't recycle we wouldn't have the playground," said 4th grader Aiden Smiley.

Hawthorne beat about 200 schools from six different states competing in the Recycled Playground Challenge.

Recycling company Terra Cycle was among the sponsors of the challenge.

"Colgate and ShopRite both partnered with us to run a recycling contest for kids to recycle as much oral care waste as they could," said Maame Mensah of Terra Cycle, "and also get their community to vote for them."

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Recycling is nothing new for the children. After lunch they line up and properly dispose of their waste, putting recyclable items in the proper outlets.

In addition to recycling oral care products, things like snack bags, and juice pouches are being turned into pencil cases, folder and school bags.

Even though school will be over for summer vacation shortly, the playground will be open for the community.

"It's not just for our kids," said Dumar Burgess, principal of Hawthorne Park Elementary. "Kids can play all summer. We invite parents to come out and use it to get the kids out from playing video games. They can come out and enjoy it."

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