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Maryland Department of the Environment

Maryland Department of the Environment Honors Student Artists at “Rethink Recycling” Sculpture Contest

Jemicy School Student Wins Top Prize; Annual Awards Promote Recycling, Creativity among Students

BALTIMORE, MD (Nov. 17, 2023) – Maya Glass, a student at Jemicy School in Baltimore County, won the grand prize of a Microsoft Surface Pro 7+ Tablet and two passes to the National Aquarium at the Maryland Department of the Environment’s 22nd annual “Rethink Recycling” Sculpture Contest today at Montgomery Park in Baltimore City. The winning entry, made from shoes, was entitled “Trampled.

The Maryland Recycling Network presented the grand prize winner with a check for $250 in addition to the other prizes.

Students from Carroll, Queen Anne’s and Prince George’s counties won the top prizes in four other categories. This year, 62 entries from 20 high schools were on display. The students made their sculptures from reused materials.

“These sculptures bring the benefits of recycling to life in a beautiful way,” said Maryland Department of the Environment Secretary Serena McIlwain. “Waste diversion reduces the amount of material going into landfills, and that helps us reduce greenhouse gasses and fight climate change.”

The category first-place winners, each of whom received Bose Quietcomfort Earbuds and two passes to the National Aquarium were:

  • Creativity: Ashlynn Kief, Manchester Valley High School, for “Lady Dale & Milkbone”
  • Workmanship: Kyra Stefanoski, Century High School, for “Bernard the Boysenberry Octopus”
  • Use of Materials: Lexi Harris, Kent Island High School, for “Precious Peacock”
  • People’s Choice: Samina Nelson, Suitland High School, for “The Royal”

The second-place winners in each category, who received $100 Amazon gift cards and two passes to the National Aquarium, were:

  • Creativity: Samadhi Jones, Suitland High School, for “The Departure”
  • Workmanship: Azera Graham, Suitland High School, for “Esterfester”
  • Use of Materials: Santania Vo, Century High School, for “Tree of Life”
  • People’s Choice: Ryli Standcliff, South Carroll High School, for “CDs with a Porpoise”

To see photos of the winning entries, click here:

Sponsors of the event were the American Cleaning Institute, Waste Management, the Maryland Recycling Network, made+ and the National Aquarium. Sponsors donated prizes, funding and refreshments for this year’s contest. The Maryland Recycling Network presented the grand prize winner with a check for $250 in addition to the other prizes.

“ACI is proud to support this effort to bring greater attention to recycling,” said Ana Fraisse, Manager, Sustainability Engagement at the American Cleaning Institute. “Our goals to reduce waste from cleaning product packaging won’t be met without greater understanding of how to recycle, so we thank the Maryland Department of the Environment and the contest participants for their hard work in this event!”

Contest judges were: Chelsea Anspach, communications manager for the Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore; Rahne Alexander, an intermedia artist, writer and senior publicist Johns Hopkins University Press; and Juliet Ames, who makes jewelry and art using recycled china and glass.

Since 2001, MDE 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. The competition 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 webpage. The department’s mission is to protect and restore the environment for the health and well-being of all Marylanders.

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