C. Milton Wright students who competed in the Rethink Recycling Contest through Maryland Department of the Environment were, from left, Margaret McGill, with her sculpture, Anglerfish; Amanda Feinberg, with her sculpture, Polly Wanna a Colored Pencil; and Jullian Eisdorfer, with her sculpture, It's Recycled Hon! McGill took first place in the workmanship category and won a Nook Color.
C. Milton Wright students who competed in the Rethink Recycling Contest through Maryland Department of the Environment were, from left, Margaret McGill, with her sculpture, Anglerfish; Amanda Feinberg, with her sculpture, Polly Wanna a Colored Pencil; and Jullian Eisdorfer, with her sculpture, It's Recycled Hon! McGill took first place in the workmanship category and won a Nook Color. (send in photo, Patuxent Publishing)

Margaret McGill, a C. Milton Wright High School student, created an anglerfish sculpture using compact discs, nails and light bulbs. It was her entry in Friday's 10th annual "Rethink Recycling" Sculpture Contest, hosted by Maryland Department of the Environment.

Her creation earned her first place in the workmanship category and she won a Nook Color.

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The contest challenges Maryland high school students to use recycled materials to create artistic and innovative sculptures. This year 65 entries from 29 high schools across the state, including C. Milton Wright from Harford, were on display.

"Maryland citizens and businesses prevent about 40 percent of our waste from going into landfills and incinerators by recycling, which helps to save energy and reduce green house gas emissions," MDE Secretary Robert M. Summers said in a press release announcing the winners. "If not for the creativity and energy of these students, the materials used to make these sculptures would have ended up as trash that pollutes our air, land and water. I applaud all the teachers and students here today for doing their part to promote environmental protection by turning everyday trash into beautiful works of art."

Besides workmanship, categories included creativity, use of materials and people's choice. Amber Robinson from Digital Harbor High School in Baltimore City won the grand prize for her portrait of Lady Gaga.

"Encouraging recycling – in our homes and in our workplaces – is an important part of the cleaning product industry's sustainability efforts," Brian Sansoni, vice president of communication at the American Cleaning Institute (www.cleaninginstitute.org), said. "Events like 'Rethink Recycling' truly make recycling an art form."

Since 2001, MDE has celebrated America Recycles Day by hosting the annual "Rethink Recycling" Sculpture Contest. High school students from across Maryland are invited to participate by creating sculptures made of recycled and reusable materials. "Rethink Recycling" 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.

America Recycles Day, traditionally celebrated on Nov. 15, 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.

Sponsors who donated prizes, funding, and refreshments for this year's contest were: Giant Food, Constellation Energy, Maryland, Delaware, DC Beverage Association, The American Visionary Art Museum, The American Cleaning Institute, e-Structors, Inc., Maryland Recycling Network, Waste Management Inc., Lori Scozzofava and Rehrig Pacific Company.

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