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Maryland Department of the Environment

First Lady Yumi Hogan joins Environment Secretary Ben Grumbles for 16th annual Rethink Recycling Sculpture Contest


Adrienne Diaczok

(410) 537-3003

First Lady Yumi Hogan joins Environment Secretary Ben Grumbles for 16th annual Rethink Recycling Sculpture Contest

Annual contest promotes recycling and creativity among high school students 

BALTIMORE, MD (November 30, 2017) –First Lady Yumi Hogan joined Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) Secretary Ben Grumbles today at the department’s 16th annual “Rethink Recycling” Sculpture Contest. The First Lady opened the event by welcoming student artists, teachers and parents. Later, the department awarded prizes for a fox, a cow and artwork evoking a marriage proposal – all made from reused materials. Students from Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Howard County, and Montgomery County won the top prizes.

The Rethink Recycling sculpture contest provides a wonderful opportunity to introduce young artists to science, and our STEM students to the arts,” said First Lady Yumi Hogan. “By exposing students to both of these important fields we are teaching them to better understand each other, all while helping our environment and keeping Maryland a beautiful and healthy place to live for generations to come.”

“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,” Secretary Grumbles said. “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.”

Rethink Recycling challenges Maryland high school students to use recycled materials to create artistic and innovative sculptures. This year, 61 entries from 21 high schools across the state were on display.

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 each received JBL Pulse 3 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 Category: Kyreem Cummings, Suitland High School, Prince George’s County, for crafting “Multi Interpretation of Love,” a flower bouquet made of newspaper, paper and wire.

The runners-up, who each received $100 Amazon gift card 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.

Sponsors of the event were the American Cleaning Institute, Exelon, Maryland Recycling Network, the Maryland, Delaware, D.C. Beverage Association, Giant, Resource Revival, National Aquarium and Waste Management, Inc. Sponsors donated prizes, funding, and refreshments for this year’s contest.

“Bold, creative ideas, designs and solutions are needed if we are to solve problems related to waste generation,” said top sponsor, American Cleaning Institute’s Vice President, Brian Sansoni. The American Cleaning Institute and our member companies are proud to support programs and education initiatives that encourage recycling in our businesses, homes, and schools and in everyday life.”

Contest judges tasked with determining the winners of the contest based on creativity, use of materials, and workmanship were: John Lewis, instructor at the Maryland Institute College of Art; 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 Kaley Laleker, Deputy Director of Land and Materials Administration, Department of the Environment.

Since 2001, the 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. It is the mission of the department to protect and restore the environment for the health and well-being of all Marylanders.

Visit MDE’s Flickr Page for more photos from today’s event.