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Flattened Coca-Cola cans lined the mouth. Shards of broken CDs made for teeth. But it was the reptile’s hide – scales of gleaming, Mountain Dew green – that really grabbed the eye.
In a room filled with artworks made from materials that might have otherwise ended up in landfills, Josh Tichinel’s aluminum-can alligator emerged as the best.
Josh, from Northern Garrett High School, won the top prize at the ninth annual “Rethink Recycling” Sculpture Contest. The contest, hosted by MDE, is designed to raise awareness about recycling. Josh said he used more than 700 cans for his grand-prize-winning effort. He received a 64G I-Pad.
The sculpture contest, held November 19 at MDE’s Baltimore headquarters, challenged Maryland high school students to use recycled materials in artistic and innovative creations. More than 60 entries from 19 high schools across the state were displayed, and they included everything from contained everything from plastic bottles to old records and broken mirrors.
Four other prizes were awarded in different categories. The winners were:
Creativity: Justin Femiano, South Carroll High School, Carroll County, for a globe lamp made with water bottles.
Workmanship: Lizelle Roose, Century High School, Carroll County, for chimes made from wood, cooper piping, and broken mirrors.
Use of Materials: Jasmine Elberfeld, Century High School, Carroll County, for a depiction of a person walking two dogs made from an iced tea container, buttons, tin can, shelf brackets, newspaper, and springs.
People’s Choice Category: Jenna Rayman, Notre Dame Preparatory School, Baltimore City, for a cube of Maryland logos made from soda cans, cardboard, and newspaper.
Sponsors who donated prizes, funding, and refreshments for this year’s contest were: The American Cleaning Institute; Constellation Energy; Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Beverage Association; Maryland Recycling Network; Rehrig Pacific Company; Giant Food; and Integrated Waste Analysts, Inc.
Baltimore magazine senior editor Suzanne Loudermilk, retired art teacher and working artist Barbara L. Cox, and MDE Director of Legislation and Policy Heather Barthel judged the contest.
The event highlights America Recycles Day, to “promote the social, environmental, and economic benefits of buying recycled products and recycling throughout America.” To find out what you can do to reduce, reuse, recycle, and buy recycled products, visit MDE’s recycling page.