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Department of the Environment Secretary awards grand prize for bird of prey “Tony Hawk” sculpture at the 15th annual Rethink Recycling contest


Jay Apperson

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Adrienne Diaczok

(410) 537-3003


Department of the Environment Secretary awards grand prize for bird of prey “Tony Hawk” sculpture at the 15th annual Rethink Recycling contest

Annual contest promotes recycling and creativity among high school students

BALTIMORE, MD (November 18, 2016) – Maryland Department of the Environment Secretary Ben Grumbles today awarded prizes for a wedding cake, a hawk and silhouette of a rubber ducky – all made from reused materials – at the 15th annual “Rethink Recycling” Sculpture Contest, hosted by the Department. Students from Frederick County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Calvert County, Garrett County and Prince George’s County won the top prizes.

The contest challenges Maryland high school students to use recycled materials to create artistic and innovative sculptures. This year 70 entries from 33 high schools across the state were on display. Sponsors of the event were Giant Food, Whole Foods, Exelon, the American Cleaning Institute, Maryland Recycling Network, Call2Recycle, American Visionary Art Museum, Rehrig Pacific, the Maryland, Delaware, D.C. Beverage Association, National Aquarium in Baltimore and Waste Management, Inc. Sponsors donated prizes, funding and refreshments for this year’s contest.

Contest judges tasked with determining the winners of the contest based on creativity, use of materials, and workmanship were:  John Lewis, Assistant Director, American Visionary Art Museum; Rowan Bathurst, student at the Maryland Institute College of Art; Jenna Rayman, 2010 “Rethink Recycling” contest winner and student at the Maryland Institute College of Art; and Hilary Miller, Director of Land Management Administration, Department of the Environment.


Since 2001, Department of the Environment has celebrated America Recycles Day by hosting the annual “Rethink Recycling” Sculpture Contest. High school students from across Maryland are invited to participate by creating sculptures made of recycled and reusable materials. “Rethink Recycling” is just one way MDE educates and empowers the public to reuse and recycle materials that would have otherwise gone into landfills. To find out what you can do to reduce, reuse, recycle and buy recycled products, visit MDE’s recycling web page.

America Recycles Day, traditionally celebrated on November 15, is a national event that unites business, environmental and civic groups, and local, state, and federal government agencies to promote recycling, source reduction, and the purchase of products made from recycled materials as a means to a more sustainable society.


Parker Montour from Walkersville High School in Frederick County was the Grand Prize winner for her sculpture, “Tony Hawk,” made using chicken wire, aluminum cans, newspaper and cardboard. She received an HP Pavilion X360 laptop for her efforts.

The category winners, who each received a Samsung Galaxy Tab A, were:

  • Creativity: Kiara Byrd, Suitland High School, Prince George’s County, for her work entitled “Pandemonium,” using a cardboard box and a motor from an old remote control vehicle.

  • Workmanship: Balal Razaq, Patapsco High School and Center for the Arts, Baltimore County, for creating “Prism Collision,” a lighted sculpture made of unused paint sample cards.

  • Use of Materials: Jaclyn Jew, Liberty High School, Carroll County, for “13 Steps of a Love Story,” a sculpture created using wood, cardboard, popsicle sticks, plaster, mattress foam and paper.

People’s Choice Category: Brandon Funk, Century High School, Carroll County, for crafting “Rubber Ducky,” a shadow box sculpture made using a cassette tape, checker board, flashlight and other knickknacks

The runners-up, who each received $100 Amazon gift cards were:

  • Creativity: Waverly Mellies, The Calverton School, Calvert County, for “Garbage, Glass & Glue,” using newspaper, wire, cardboard, glass mirror and styrofoam.

  • Workmanship: Maura McCann, Southern Garrett High School, Garrett County, for crafting “Time of My Life,” made from an old Christmas tree stand, PVC pipe, wire, packing paper, plastic soda bottles and aluminum cans.

  • Use of Materials: Lexi Hamilton, Mount de Sales Academy, Baltimore County, for constructing “Just Keep Swimming Ellicott City,”  made from debris and objects found near the shores of the Patapsco River after the historic flooding in Ellicott City this past summer.

  • People’s Choice: Luke Fetterman, Century High School, Carroll County, for “Pennies,” a self-portrait made entirely of pennies.


“Thanks to Maryland residents and businesses, we recycled nearly three million tons of municipal solid waste and diverted more than 47 percent of our waste from landfills and incinerators last year. Let’s keep moving forward for a cleaner and greener Maryland by increasing the rate of recycling and rethinking the management of “waste”.  It is up to all of us to work together  creatively to reduce, reuse, and recycle so we can protect precious natural resources throughout our beautiful state.”

  • Ben Grumbles, Secretary, Maryland Department of the Environment

“The cleaning products industry and our dedication to sustainability thrives on innovation. That’s why the American Cleaning Institute is proud to support innovative Maryland students whose artwork helps promote the importance of recycling in our everyday lives.”

  • Brian Sansoni, Vice President, Sustainability Initiatives, American Cleaning Institute.


MDE’s Rethink Recycling Contest

America Recycles Day

MDE’s Flickr Page


To protect and restore the environment for the health and well-being of all Marylanders.