JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) and the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) invite Missouri public, private, and home-school students in grades K-8 to help fight litter in the Show-Me State -- and to have creative and educational fun -- by participating in the 2016 "Yes You CAN Make Missouri Litter-Free" trash-can-decorating contest.
The annual trash-can contest encourages school classes and groups to join in the fight against litter by decorating and displaying a large trash can with the "No MOre Trash!" logo and a litter-prevention message using a variety of creative media.
The annual contest is sponsored by MDC and MoDOT as part of the state's "No MOre Trash!" (NMT) statewide litter campaign. This partnership between MDC and MoDOT, along with thousands of volunteers, is working to prevent and reduce litter in Missouri through education, prevention, and cleanup activities.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average American generates about four pounds of trash each day.
“Missouri’s six million residents produce nearly 26 million pounds of garbage in one day. That’s more than nine BILLION pounds of trash per year!” said MDC NMT Coordinator Joe Jerek. “Much of that trash shows up on our streets and roadsides, natural areas, and waterways. Litter harms our fish and water quality, plants, and hurts wildlife. Litter also hurts property values, landscape appearance, and our overall quality of life.”
Jerek added that littering is illegal in Missouri and can result in a fine of up to $1,000 and one year in jail.
"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 by creating and providing trash cans with the No MOre Trash! message in their schools and communities," said MoDOT NMT Coordinator Stacy Armstrong.
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 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 nomoretrash.org by Friday, March 18. Contest rules, entry forms, logo, past contest entries and winners, and educational information can also be found at nomoretrash.org.
Southwest Livingston, Ross Elementary, and Schaible Homeschool were the winners of the 2015 trashcan-decorating contest. They were among 21 entries involving more than 240 students.
Southwest Livingston County R1 School in Ludlow won the 6–8-Grade Category and the Grand Prize with their 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.
Kindergarten and first grade Girl Scouts at Ross Elementary School in St. Louis won the K-2-Grade Category for their entry, "Girl Scouts Make the World a Better Place with No MOre Trash!" The 18 students converted an empty 50-gallon plastic drum.
Two fourth and fifth graders at Schaible Homeschool in Union won the 3-5-Grade Category for their entry, "Littering Is For the Birds" featuring the Missouri State Bird the Eastern Bluebird.