SHELBY TOWNSHIP — With increased promotion and more options to enter, the Solid Waste and Recycling Committee’s third annual recycled art contest grew by leaps and bounds.
More than 600 people voted for 27 unique sculptures created purely from recyclables during the Shelby Township Art Fair Aug. 9-10. The contest also offered a new school category and increased cash prizes for first, second and third place winners in three age groups — youth, teen and adult.
Last year, Pam Reinhardt, of the Parks, Recreation and Maintenance Department, said the contest only received eight entries.
“The thought and planning that (participants) put in and all the problems they had to solve making the entries showed a lot of ingenuity, and, sometimes, just to look at them, you wouldn’t realize all that went into it,” said Marietta Crabtree, chairperson of the Solid Waste and Recycling Committee.
The purpose of the contest, which initially was proposed by Reinhardt, is to get people thinking more about recycling and recycling materials that should not be going into landfills when they can be reused, Crabtree said.
“The reuse of materials saves resources and energy, and (the contest) is just a fun way for people to stop and think about how something that could have gone into a landfill was saved and put into a fun, creative and interesting project,” Crabtree said.
She said the contest impressed many fairgoers, and children especially were excited about voting. She said many voters took their time carefully considering each entry before casting their ballots.
More prize money was available for the winners of the contest thanks to the success of the monthly electronics recycling event at the township municipal grounds, coordinated by the Solid Waste and Recycling Committee. First, second and third place winners in four age groups won $75, $50 and $25, respectively. For schools, the cash prizes were $200, $100 and $50.
In the past four years of hosting the free event, the committee recycled more than 1 million pounds of recyclables, Crabtree said.
Next year, she said she expects the contest to grow, especially with the addition of the school category. The contest featured two entries from Crissman Elementary School’s green team and Science Olympiad this year, but Crabtree said many more schools are interested.
For more information about the contest or the Solid Waste and Recycling Committee, call (586) 731-0300.