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Maryland State Government Maryland Department of the Environment

Education and Outreach

America Recycles Day (ARD)

ARD is a national event (November 15th) that promotes recycling, source reduction and buying products made from recycled materials as objectives to a more sustainable society. In celebration of ARD, MDE has created the “Rethink Recycling” sculpture contest and judging ceremony to display students’ creativity and promote recycling.The sculpture contest and judging ceremony is a great opportunity for celebrating efforts of the student artists, for media exposure and for promoting waste prevention to the general public. The sculpture contest challenges students to innovatively and artistically use recycled materials as a solution to waste reduction.  If you would like more information about ARD, visit the America Recycles Day's web page. 

"Rethink Recycling" Sculpture Contest

2015 Sculpture Contest 

The 14th annual sculpture contest will be held on Friday, November 13, 2015, at Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) in Baltimore.  MDE would like to extend this invitation to high school students.  Two entries will be accepted from each high school (additional entries may become available later).  The contest gives students the chance to be inventive and create a sculpture made from recyclable or reused materials (see guidelines).  Judges will select an overall winning sculpture along with individual recognition for creativity, workmanship and use of materials.  Additionally, a “People’s Choice Award” is given.  Past contests received national recognition and television news airtime.  Prizes provided from corporate and non-profit organization sponsors will be awarded to all contest entrants. Past prizes have included items such as gift cards, Nooks and an iPad.  

Space is limited so please complete the School Entry Form and fax it to 410-537-3321 or email it to, by October 20, 2015, to confirm your school’s participation.  The  Individual Entry Form(s) should be returned to MDE by October 30, 2015, once the participants are selected.

For more information regarding the "Rethink Recycling" Sculpture Contest, please contact Christy Bujnovszky at or at 410-537-3314.

2014 Sculpture Contest

The 2014 "Rethink Recycling" Sculpture Contest was held on November 14, 2014 at the Maryland Department of the Environment.  There were 64 entries from 23 different high schools from across the State featured in the contest. 

Michalea Ballistreri from C. Milton Wright High School in Harford County was the grand prize winner for her "Beautiful Bird", a sculpture made from soda cans, styrofoam, buttons and CD's.  She won a 64GB iPad. 

The category winners, who received a Galaxy Tablet were:

  • Creativity: Molly Browning, Southern Garrett High School, Garrett County, for her "Tribute to the King of the Jungle", a gorilla sculpture created using electrical cords, aluminum cans, computer parts and plastic bags.
  • Workmanship: Basia Syski, Mount de Sales Academy, Baltimore County, for creating "The Circle of Life", a sculpture made using cardboard and fabric.
  • Use of Materials: Carly Ellis, Century High School, Carroll County, for "Shoes", a pair of boots with personality-the sculpture was made with gloves, moss and thyme.
  • People’s Choice Category: John Young, Liberty High School, Carroll County, for creating a depiction of a guitar and amplifier made from records, record sleeves, cassette tapes and wire.

Second place winners, who each received refurbished laptop computers donated by sponsor, Sims Recycling Solutions, were:

  • Creativity: Allie Shedieski, C. Milton Wright High School, Harford County, for "Hector".  The trojan prince was created using metal and cardboard.
  • Workmanship: Josh Zuckerman-Erd, Jemicy Upper School, Baltimore County, for creating "The Woody SpinCycle 2.0", made from wood, metal and old bicycle parts.
  • Use of Materials: Maura McCann, Southern Garrett High School, Garrett County, for constructing "Maryland's Beauty-Black Eyed Susans", with plastic, hangers, glass, coffee grounds and egg crates.
  • People's Choice: Summer Judd, Northwestern High School, Prince George's County, for "Overflow", a garden growing out of an old commode, using water bottles and paper.

See pictures of MDE's 2014 "Rethink Recycling" Contest 

2014 Participating Schools:

  • Anne Arundel County: Broadneck High School, The Harbour School
  • Baltimore City: ACCE High School, Archbishop Curley High School, Digital Harbor High School, Roland Park Country School
  • Baltimore County: Jemicy Upper School, Maryvale Preparatory School, Mount de Sales Academy, Randallstown High School, Redeemer Classical Christian School, Sparrows Point High School, Western School of Technology & Environmental Science
  • Carroll County: Century High School, Liberty High School
  • Frederick County: Heather Ridge School
  • Garrett County: Southern Garrett County High School
  • Harford County: C. Milton Wright High School
  • Howard County: Glenelg Country School
  • Prince George’s County: Northwestern High School, Suitland High School-Center for Performing Arts
  • Washington County: Highland View Academy, Smithsburg High School


In the Classroom

Some Counties offer various displays, presentations and demonstrations that travel to schools and events. Staff provides educational presentations to elementary, middle and high school students. Contact your County Coordinator to schedule a presentation.

MDE can offer educators copies of interdisciplinary activity lessons for Grades K-9. The activity lessons cover topics such as recycling, source reduction, landfills, composting, reuse, ecosystem, cycles, hazardous waste, and buy recycled. The lessons use a variety of skills and address the subjects of science, math, social studies, language arts, environmental education, art, and English. Contact MDE to receive these activities.

Recycling Websites

Recycling Websites -- for KIDS!