Recycled Sculpture Contest

America Recycles Day

America Recycles Day (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.

2021 Sculpture Contest (November 19, 2021)

Montgomery Park Auditorium
1800 Washington Blvd. Baltimore, MD  21230

Schedule of Events
10:00  Doors open
10:15  Welcome from Maryland Department of the Environment
11:30  People's C​h​oice judging ends
12:00  Award presentation begins
12:30  Contest ends

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 ARD Rules 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 laptops.  

Space is limited so please submit the School/4H Entry Form to confirm your school’s participation by October 20, 2021.  The Individual Entry Form (s) should be submitted to MDE by November 5, 2021, once the participants are selected.

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

**Please note that Baltimore City mandates masks to be worn indoors, therefore, we will require masks to be worn at all times during the event.

"Rethink Recycl​ing" Online Sculpture Gallery 2020

Secretary Ben Grumbles Welcome​


 2020 Online Sculpture Gallery


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Two Frederick Students Win ‘Rethink Recycling’ Art Competition

BALTIMORE (Nov. 24, 2020) — Two students from Linganore High School in Frederick — Peyton Johnson and Tatum Hart— were online voters’ choices to win this year’s virtual “Rethink Recycling” student art show. Rethink Recycling challenges Maryland high school students to use recycled materials to create artistic and innovative sculptures.

The annual competition, which is normally held in person with judges at Montgomery Park Auditorium in Baltimore City, was conducted online this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Student artists around the state took photographs of the art they assembled from various recycled components and submitted them online to a virtual gallery. Winners were selected by online voting. Seventy artists participated and 350 votes were cast.

“We had a large number of student artists participate, even with the pandemic disruption, and the quality of their work was outstanding,” Environment Secretary Ben Grumbles said. “Maryland’s youthful artists inspire us all to reduce, reuse, recycle, and rethink waste so we can keep protecting the environment and fighting climate change.”

Johnson’s entry, titled “Salvarnos” (Spanish for “save us”), depicts a blue throated macaw and was crafted from discarded cans, PVC pipe, and chicken wire frame previously used in old projects. 

“There are many species of macaws that are critically endangered,” Johnson wrote in her entry. “I love these birds and never want them to go extinct.”

Hart’s entry, called “Where Some Sea Waste…,” is the figure of a crab crafted from an old set of camping utensils used by her family on trips and which she found in the bottom of a recycling container scheduled for pickup. 

“As I have gotten older, I have become more aware of polluted waters and dying animals. I hope to inspire others to recycle and be mindful of their environmental impact,” Hart wrote.

"Rethink Recycling" Sculpture Contest Pictures