Press Release

BALTIMORE, MD (December 11, 2007) – A depiction of Sam from Casablanca, and two fish were among the winning pieces of artwork at the sixth annual "Rethink Recycling" Sculpture Contest, co-sponsored by the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE. The art event is a way MDE marks America Recycles Day, an annual event recognized nationally on November 15.

The sculpture contest challenges students to innovatively and artistically use recycled materials as a solution to waste reduction. A total of 43 entries from 10 different high schools across the state contained everything from tires, milk jugs, chicken wire, and playing cards to computer parts, and more.

Contest judges tasked with determining the winners of the contest based on creativity, use of materials, and workmanship included Mr. John Habercam, retired art teacher from Chesapeake High School in Anne Arundel County; Ms. Megan Viar, a former Rethink Recycling Sculpture Contest winner and current student at the Maryland Institute College of Art; and Ms. Elizabeth Grimaldis, a retired art coordinator for Anne Arundel County Schools.

"This event reflects the spirit of MDE's mission to protect and restore Maryland's Environment," said MDE Secretary Shari T. Wilson. "It also supports the mission of America Recycles Day: ‘To hold an annual national awareness event to promote the social, environmental, and economic benefits of buying recycled products and recycling…throughout America.'"

Colby Nguyen's sculpture of "Play It Again Sam" made of metal, bottles, cans, milk jug, cardboard, and a chair won a $500 gift card to Best Buy. Nguyen is a student at Broadneck High School.

The category winners were: Creativity: Tim Miller of Northern High School for a fish made from bottle caps; Workmanship: Faith Kiesslinh of Carver Center for Arts & Technology for a fish made of pine cones; Use of Materials: Chris Barger, Shelby Lynn, Jennifer Johnson, and Melissa Meade of Glen Burnie HS for a girl made of a basketball and soda cans; and Peoples' Choice: Ariel Uhlij and Lyndsay Morgan of South Carroll HS for an old television and a coffin using videotape and popcorn. Each category winner received an IPod Docking Station.

Prizes and refreshments for this year's recycled art event were donated by: The Maryland Beverage Association, Soap and Detergent Association, Maryland Recyclers Coalition, Allied Waste Services, Harford County Office of Recycling, Panasonic, Sharp Electronics Corporation, Constellation Energy, Best Buy, and Whole Foods.

The "Rethink Recycling" sculpture contest, which MDE hosts in celebration of America Recycles Day, 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 at:

ARD is a national event that unites business, environmental and civic groups, and local, state, and federal government agencies to promote recycling, source reduction, and the purchase of products made from recycled materials as a means to a more sustainable society.

Remember when it comes to recycling, "It All Comes Back To You."



A number of digital images from this event are available. Please contact MDE's Office of Communications.