Digging back through emails piled up in my inbox, I want to share some "good news" - this recent announcement of the winners of the 10th annual "Rethink Recycling" contest sponsored by the Maryland Department of the Environment.
The grand prize this year went to Amber Robinson from Digital Harbor High School in Baltimore for her portrait of Lady Gaga, made from soda bottle caps, utensils, and compact discs. Pictured above with her work, she won an iPad 2, one of several prizes donated by sponsoring businesses and institutions.
Twenty-nine different high schools across the state displayed 65 entries in the contest, which challenges Maryland students to use recycled materials in creating sculptures.
Environment Secretary Robert M. Summers praised the students and teachers for doing their part to promote recycling by "turning everyday trash into beautiful works of art."
"If not for the creativity and energy of these students, the materials used to make these sculptures would have ended up as trash that pollutes our air, land and water," he said. According to MDE, current recycling efforts have reduced waste going into landfills and to incinerators by 40 percent.
Other winners in various contest categories included:
Crystal Blackwood, South Carroll High School, Carroll County, for building a towering giraffe from records, compact discs, PVC pipe, and cardboard.
Margaret McGill, C. Milton Wright High School, Harford County, for creating an anglerfish out of compact discs, nails, and light bulbs.
Olivia Borum, South Carroll High School, Carroll County, for designing a miniature dress made of reused puzzle pieces and buttons.
Lauren Johnson, Smithsburg High School, Washington County, for crafting a great blue heron from chicken wire and zip ties.
To see more photos of the prize-winning recycled art, go here.
I'll be thinking of the sculptures crafted by these creative high schoolers every time I haul my recycling bin to the curb!
(Photo Amber Robinson and grand-prize winning Gaga sculpture, courtesy MD Dept of the Environment)