News & Events

reGEN Diverts 347kg of Textiles From Landfill


When our College was renamed in honour of Catherine McAuley in 2018, a new uniform reflected our new direction as a school steeped in the Mercy tradition. In the years since, we have phased out the Catholic College Bendigo uniform, culminating with the Class of 2022 who were the last to wear it.

As a result, many old uniforms were stashed away in various cupboards and boxes, unable to be donated or passed on.

In 2022, the Year 12 reGEN team drove a plan to address the redundant uniforms and affirm Catherine McAuley College’s commitment to sustainability and environmentally friendly practices, while at the same time engaging with the community in a positive way.

The reGEN team developed a Uniform Recycling Program through Term 4 2022 and encouraged people to dispose of their redundant uniforms at the drop-off point at the St Mary’s library. The uniforms would be sent to Melbourne-based textiles recycling company, UPPAREL which provides a service focused on sustainability and waste reduction.

Our school community enthusiastically responded, with bags and boxes quickly piling up in the library as the year drew to a close. We were grateful to be supported in the program by our current uniform supplier Noone, who generously agreed to freight the uniforms to the UPPAREL warehouse in Melbourne free of charge.

When the uniforms arrived at UPPAREL, they were sorted into categories – any that were still fit for wear were offered to charities and social enterprises. The rest will undergo a textile recycling process where they will be turned into fibre and used as filling for products such as furniture, insulation or pet beds.

Together our school community diverted 347.5kg of textiles from landfill! This resulted in the prevention of 1,216.25kg of greenhouse gases from polluting our atmosphere – a very positive manifestation of our reGEN program, which launched in 2020 and has been linked to our College themes of the past few years. The program encourages students to care for our environment, reduce our carbon footprint, minimise waste and reduce our impact on climate change.

We congratulate the Year 12 reGEN leaders of 2022 and our College community for being such positive instruments of care for our common home.