Students can help combat litter in Missouri with the annual No MOre Trash! Contest that encourages schools to decorate a trash can that inspires others to re-think litter and trash.
The contest is sponsored by the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) and the Missouri Department of Transportation. Entries should be decorated with the No MOre Trash! logo and a litter prevention message using a variety of creative media. The contest includes a grand prize trophy and a $600 award to the sponsoring school. The deadline for submitting photos of decorated trash cans is March 18.
Southwest Livingston County R1 School in Ludlow, MO won the grand prize in 2015 with its entry, “In Recycling We Trust.” The 14 students created a trash can featuring Ernie the Eagle made with turkey feathers, paper mache, paint and construction paper.
“In addition to teaching kids about how litter hurts them, their communities, and their environment, the No MOre Trash! contest gives students an opportunity to help prevent littering,” said Stacy Armstrong, MDC No More Trash coordinator.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average American generates about four pounds of trash each day. Some of that trash will end up on streets, roadsides, natural areas and waterways.
Peanut the turtle is a living example of how litter can affect wildlife. When young, the turtle crawled into a plastic six-pack ring that someone had thrown on the ground instead of a trashcan. The ring got caught on her shell. Eventually, her shell grew but the ring stayed on giving her the shape of a peanut. She was found and taken to the St. Louis Zoo where the ring was cut off. She has lived with MDC since 1993.
Schools may submit one entry in each competition category: K-2, 3-5 and 6-8. Entries are judged based on creativity, adherence to contest rules, and effective use of theme and the No MOre Trash! logo.
First-place winners from each competition category receive $200 awarded to the sponsoring schools. All first-place winners are then eligible for a grand prize of a trophy and $600 awarded to the sponsoring school.
There is no entry fee for the contest. Participating school groups must submit a completed entry form online with up to three photos to by Friday, March 18. Contest rules, entry forms, logo, past contest entries, winners and educational information can also be found at nomoretrash.org.
Photos courtesy of the Missouri Department of Conservation.