Education and Outreach

America Recycles Day (ARD)

ARD is a national event (November 15th) that promotes recycling, source reduction and buying products made from recycled materials as objectives to a more sustainable society. In celebration of ARD, MDE has created the “Rethink Recycling” sculpture contest and judging ceremony to display students’ creativity and promote recycling.  The sculpture contest and judging ceremony is a great opportunity for celebrating efforts of the student artists, for media exposure and for promoting waste prevention to the general public. The sculpture contest challenges students to innovatively and artistically use recycled materials as a solution to waste reduction.  If you would like more information about ARD, visit the America Recycles Day's web page. 

"Rethink Recycl​ing" Sculpture Contest

​2018 Sculpture Contest (November 30, 2018)

Schedule of Events

10:00 Doors open

10:15 Welcome from Ben Grumbles, Secretary, Maryland Department of the Environment

10:20 Opening remarks from Yumi Hogan, First Lady of Maryland

12:00 People's C​h​oice judging ends

12:30 Award presentation begins

1:00 Contest ends

Rethink Recycling 2018 Flyer

The 17th annual sculpture contest was held on Friday, November 30, 2018  at the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) in Baltimore.  MDE would like to extend this invitation to high school students.  Two entries will be accepted from each high school (additional entries may become available later).  The contest gives students the chance to be inventive and create a sculpture made from recyclable or reused materials (see guidelines).  Judges will select an overall winning sculpture along with individual recognition for creativity, workmanship and use of materials.  Additionally, a “People’s Choice Award” is given.  Past contests received national recognition and television news airtime.  Prizes provided from corporate and non-profit organization sponsors will be awarded to all contest entrants. Past prizes have included items such as gift cards, tablets and an HP Envy X360 Laptop.  

Space is limited so please complete the School Entry Form and fax it to 410-537-3321 or email it to, to confirm your school’s participation.  The Individual Entry Form(s) should be returned to MDE, once the participants are selected.

For more information regarding the "Rethink Recycling" Sculpture Contest, please contact Christy Bujnovszky at or at 410-537-4190.

2018 Sculpture Contest

The 2018 "Rethink Recycling" Sculpture Contest was held on November 30, 2018 at the Maryland Department of the Environment.  There were 62 entries from 23 different high schools from across the State featured in the contest. 

Mary Garrison from South Carroll High School in Carroll County was the Grand Prize winner for her sculpture, “Golden Mare,” made using a gold metal objects, necklaces, cardboard, wire, and a drawer handle. She received a Dell Laptop plus Wacom Ink Smart Stylus for her efforts.  

The category winners, who received a JBL Bluetooth Speakers and wireless headsets were:

  • CreativityHuy Nguyen, Towson High School, Baltimore County, for “The Face of Hoy,” using cardboard.
  • WorkmanshipJocelyn Schoch, Southern Garrett High School, Garrett County, for creating “Flying Freedom,”  made of steel wool, wire, wood, foam, soda cans, plastic bags, and CDs.
  • Use of Materials: Stephanie Zulak, Joppatowne High School, Harford County, for “Cirque de Corbeille​” a sculpture created using cassette tapes, rope, spoons, crayons, discarded jewelry, coffee filters, K-Cups, pill bottles, trash bags, and marker lids.
  • People’s ChoiceAdrianna Wood, Century High School, Carroll County, for crafting “Screw it’ I’m going to L.A.,” made of screws.
Second place winners, who each received $100 Amazon gift cards, were:
  •  CreativityPatricia Ezeji, Patapsco High School, Baltimore County, for her work entitled “Terry the Peacock​,” using wood, school papers, plastic bottles, and an old pair of jeans.
  • Workmanship: Kun Feng, Towson High School, Baltimore County, for crafting “Cardboard Phoenix,” made of cardboard.
  •  Use of MaterialsMeghan Martin and Khelsa Connolly, Linganore High School, Frederick County, for constructing “Sole Surfer,” made from old running shoes.
  • People’s ChoiceRayven Dears, Suitland Hill School, Prince George's County, for “Seraph​,” a sculpture made of glass beads, wire, and wood.
See pictures of MDE's 2018 "Rethink Recycling" Contest 

2018 Participating Schools:

  • Allegany County: Fort Hill High School
  • Anne Arundel County: Arundel High School, Broadneck High School
  • Baltimore County: Garrison Forest School, Jemicy Upper School, Patapsco High School & Center for the Arts, Towson High School
  • Carroll County: Century High School, South Carroll High School, Winters Mill High School
  • Frederick County: Linganore High School, Urbana High School, Walkersville High School
  • Garrett County: Southern Garrett High School
  • Harford County: Aberdeen High School, C. Milton Wright High School, Joppatowne High School
  • Howard County: Glenelg Country School
  • Kent County: Kent County High School
  • Montgomery County: Northwest High School
  • Queen Anne's County: Kent Island High School
  • Prince George’s County: Suitland High School-Center for Performing Arts
  • Washington County: Smithsburg High School

In the Classroom

Some Counties offer various displays, presentations and demonstrations that travel to schools and events. Staff provides educational presentations to elementary, middle and high school students. Contact your County Coordinator to schedule a presentation.

MDE can offer educators copies of interdisciplinary activity lessons for Grades K-9. The activity lessons cover topics such as recycling, source reduction, landfills, composting, reuse, ecosystem, cycles, hazardous waste, and buy recycled. The lessons use a variety of skills and address the subjects of science, math, social studies, language arts, environmental education, art, and English. Contact MDE to receive these activities.

Recycling Websites

Recycling Websites -- for KIDS!