Press Release

BALTIMORE, MD (November 19, 2010) – MDE Secretary Shari T. Wilson today awarded prizes for an alligator, chimes, a lamp, and a Maryland-themed cube – all made from reused materials -- at the ninth annual "Rethink Recycling" Sculpture Contest, hosted by the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE).

The sculpture contest challenges Maryland high school students to use recycled materials in artistic and innovative creations. Over 60 entries from 19 different high schools across the state were on display today and contained everything from plastic bottles and cans to old records and broken mirrors. A complete list of participating schools is at the end of the release.

“This event captures the spirit of America Recycles Day, as well as MDE’s mission to protect and restore Maryland’s environment” said MDE Secretary Shari T. Wilson. “Recycling is more important than ever. Reducing waste helps to protect our waters and the Chesapeake Bay. In addition to preserving natural resources and reducing pollution, recycling saves energy and reduces the greenhouses gases that contribute to climate change.”

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.

Contest judges tasked with determining the winners of the contest based on creativity, use of materials, and workmanship included Baltimore magazine Senior Editor Suzanne Loudermilk, retired art teacher and working artist Barbara L. Cox, and MDE Director of Legislation and Policy Heather Barthel.

Josh Tichinel from Northern Garrett High School in Garrett County won the grand prize for his alligator sculpted from over700 soda cans, including green Mountain Dew cans that made up the body. He received a 64G I-Pad. The category winners, who received Nook eReaders, 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.

"Maryland’s local beverage companies support the "Rethink Recycling" sculpture contest because it is a great opportunity that mixes art, fun, and environmental education," said Ellen Valentino, Executive Vice President of the Maryland Beverage Association.

"We need to creatively promote and encourage recycling however and whenever we can," said Brian Sansoni, Vice President of Communication at The Cleaning Institute. "Recycling is a part of the sustainability practices that are at the heart of our industry. That’s why The Cleaning Institute is proud to be a sponsor of Maryland’s Rethink Recycling Sculpture Contest."

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:

America Recycles Day 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. America Recycles Day reminds us that, when it comes to recycling, “It All Comes Back to You.”

Participating High Schools

  • Anne Arundel County: Broadneck High School, Old Mill High School

  • Baltimore City: Renaissance Academy

  • Baltimore County: Notre Dame Preparatory School, Parkville High School, Sparrows Point High School

  • Calvert County: Huntingtown High School

  • Carroll County: Century High School, South Carroll High School, Westminster High School

  • Charles County: Westlake High School

  • Frederick County: Middletown High School

  • Garrett County: Northern Garrett County High School

  • Harford County: C. Milton Wright High School

  • Montgomery County: Poolesville High School

  • Prince George’s County: Northwestern High School, Suitland High School -- Center for the Visual & Performing Arts

  • Washington County: Williamsport High School, Smithsburg High School


Digital images from this event are available. please contact MDE’s Office of Communications.