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America Recycles Day inspires art from trash

America Recycles Day inspires art from trash

A seahorse and squid made of rope and Styrofoam won the grand prize at the eighth annual "Rethink Recycling" sculputre contest held by the Maryland Department of the Environment today.

The contest aims to encourage high schoolers to recycle by using trash to make art. The event is part of America Recycles Day, an annual effort to raise awareness of the benefits --social, environmental, and economic -- of buying recycled products and recycling.

First Lady Katie O'Malley awarded the prizes to the squid and seahorse, as well as a trash truck, baskets, a tree, and a peacock. There were more than 50 entries from 19 high schools in Maryland. The students used such items as VCR tapes, bottle caps, lawnmower wheels, cans, paper and cigarette butts.

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"These sculptures are a testament to the value of art in educating the public, and they are a visual reminder of the need to recycle and to protect our environment," O'Malley said. "I congratulate all of the participants for their creativity and ingenuity."

MDE Secretary Shari T. Wilson said, "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."

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Philip Custer, from Broadneck High School in Anne Arundel County -- and seen above in a photo courtesy of the MDE -- made his squid and a seahorse from rope, bottles, a mattress, pine cones, Styrofoam, wire and plastic bottles. He won a television and a Blue Ray player.

The category winners, who received Sharp Ipod Docking Stations, were:

•Creativity: Jeremey Drenner, Westminster High School, Carroll County, for a tree made with cigarette butts, newspaper and cardboard.

•Workmanship: Catherine Traini, Middletown High School, Frederick County, for a peacock made from cans, wire, and bottle caps.

•Use of Materials: Keeley Tober, South Carroll High School, Carroll County, for a trash truck made from lawn mower wheels, sheet protectors, skeet, paper, pipes, and VCR tapes.

•People's Choice Category: Evan Callison, Northwestern High School, Prince George's County, for working baskets made from posters and wire.

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