Amber George (4th from the left) wins for “Plastic Reef.”

Also pictured left to right are Jeanette Garcia Polasky, Rashida White, MRN president Melissa Filiaggi, Phil Bresee, and Environment Secretary Ben Grumbles.

At MDE’s 18th annual Rethink Recycling Sculpture Contest on November 21, MRN board members presented a $500 prize and three-year free membership to Amber George of Leonardtown for her sculpture “Plastic Reef.”  MRN also awarded free one-year memberships to Nikki Hamidi for “Caffeine in Color” (pictured below on left) and Toni Leal for “Deer of Reflection” (pictured below on right).

Nikki Hamidi

In selecting the winning sculptures, the MRN judges looked for quality pieces that best represented efforts in waste diversion and sustainability. The three were selected based on …

  • Artistry
  • Creative reuse of non-recyclable materials, such as:
    • A pair of leggings for an eel’s body (Plastic Reef)
    • Non-recyclable coffee pod cups for flowers (Caffeine in Color)
    • Broken CD/DVD discs for a mosaic and old leather straps for antlers (Deer of Reflection).
  • Minimal use of new materials
  • Presentation which required no electricity or other power source

MRN Board Secretary Phil Bresee of MSW Consultants, LLC, and MRN members Jeanette Garcia Polasky and Rashida White of Baltimore County Bureau of Solid Waste Management served as judges for the MRN awards.

MDE has hosted the annual “Rethink Recycling” Sculpture contest since 2001 challenging Maryland high school students to create works of art using recyclable materials. Sixty-six entries from 20 high schools were submitted to this year’s contest.

The MDE grand prize went to Jorja Rodgers from Century High School in Carroll County for “Silhouette of Selena,” a shadow sculpture using plastics and paper to create a silhouette image against a backdrop.

Other winners included:

  • Creativity: Martina Barber, Suitland High School, Prince George’s County, for “Kamikaze,” using crayons, paper, cardboard, hair and recycling bins as materials.
  • Workmanship: Casey Wehrman, Suitland High School, Prince George’s County, for creating “Body of Distortion,” made of newspaper, cardboard, paper pulp and charcoal.
  • Use of Materials: Alex Vagnier, Winters Mill High School, Carroll County, for “lDK,” made of a personal computer, lamp, light switch, plexiglass, bottle caps and a waffle iron.
  • People’s Choice Category: Sam Birkenthal, Towson High School, Baltimore County, for “Six Nineteen,” using only cardboard.

Click here for full MDE press release.

Click here to pictures of winning sculptures.