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 Recycl​ing" Sculpture Contest

​2018 Sculpture Contest (November 30, 2018)

Schedule of Events

10:00 Doors open

10:15 Welcome from Ben Grumbles, Secretary, Maryland Department of the Environment

10:20 Opening remarks from Yumi Hogan, First Lady of Maryland

12:00 People's C​h​oice judging ends

12:30 Award presentation begins

1:00 Contest ends

Rethink Recycling 2018 Flyer

The 17th annual sculpture contest will be held on Friday, November 30, 2018  at the 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, tablets and an HP Envy X360 Laptop.  

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

For more information regarding the "Rethink Recycling" Sculpture Contest, please contact Christy Bujnovszky at or at 410-537-4190.

2017 Sculpture Contest

The 2017 "Rethink Recycling" Sculpture Contest was held on November 30, 2017 at the Maryland Department of the Environment.  There were 61 entries from 20 different high schools from across the State featured in the contest. 

Katelyn Schildt from Century High School in Carroll County was the Grand Prize winner for her sculpture, “Marry Me?,” made using a mannequin, plastic forks and spoons, broken jewelry and paint. She received an HP Envy X360 Laptop plus Wacom Ink Smart Stylus for her efforts.  

The category winners, who received a JBL Bluetooth Speakers were:

  • Creativity: Cheyenne Reese, Walkersville High School, Frederick County, for “Bessie the Cow,” using chicken wire, cans, plastic grocery bags and more.
  • Workmanship: Taylor Alexander, South Carroll High School, Carroll County, for creating “Ryu the Panda,”  made of chicken wire, fabric, trash bags, foam, glass and duct tape.
  • Use of Materials: Regan McCafferty, Eastern Technical High School, Baltimore County, for “Googal,” a sculpture created using metal, locks, clock, screws and bolts.
  • People’s Choice: Kyreem Cummings, Suitland High School, Prince George’s County, for crafting “Multi Interpretation of Love,” a flower bouquet made of newspaper, paper and wire.
Second place winners, who each received $100 Amazon gift cards, were:
  •  Creativity: Parker Montour, Walkersville High School, Frederick County, for her work entitled “P.E.T. Wire Wolf,” using siding, wire, PVC pipe, plastic water bottles, computer parts and twinkle lights.
  • Workmanship: Ben Hough, Towson High School, Baltimore County, for crafting “Trashy Fashion,” an evening gown made from plastic bags, tape and tape rolls
  •  Use of Materials: Morgan Lowrey, Northwest High School, Montgomery County, for constructing “Q-Tip Nation,” an emblem made from 10,000 Q-Tips to honor her school mascot.
  • People’s Choice: Kacie Greenfield, Glenelg Country School, Howard County, for “What Does the Fox Say,” a sculpture made of cardboard, floppy discs, wire and egg carton.
See pictures of MDE's 2017 "Rethink Recycling" Contest 

2017 Participating Schools:

  • Anne Arundel County: Broadneck High School
  • Baltimore City: Archbishop Curley High School, Baltimore Polytechnic Institute
  • Baltimore County: Eastern Technical High School, Franklin High School, Jemicy Upper School,  Mount de Sales Academy, Patapsco High School & Center for the Arts, Redeemer Classical Christian School, Towson High School
  • Carroll County: Century High School, Liberty High School, South Carroll High School
  • Frederick County: Linganore High School, Walkersville High School
  • Howard County: Glenelg Country School
  • Montgomery County: The Frost School, Northwest High School
  • Prince George’s County: Suitland High School-Center for Performing Arts
  • Washington County: 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!