Saturday, October 21, 2000

Is it art or garbage? Both

Students learn about recycling by creating sculpture

By Anna Guido
Enquirer Contributor

        HAMILTON — Making witches, alligators and musical instruments out of empty 2-liter bottles and other reusable materials is one way to teach children the value of recycling.

        Butler County Recycling and Litter Prevention, a division of the Department of Environmental Services, has done this for 14 years through its Recycled Sculpture Contest.

        This week's Halloween-themed contest ended Thursday with an afternoon reception and awards ceremony at the Government Services Center where the works of art were on display all week.

        “It allows kids to be creative and have fun using garbage and recyclables,” education specialist Mary Jo Lahrmann said. “But officially, the purpose of this event is to heighten the awareness of recyclables as valuable resources.”

        Katie Giuliano, a fifth grader at St. Julie Billiart in Hamilton, placed third with her golden harp made from empty 2-liter bottles, aluminum foil, pop can tabs and cardboard.

        Katie said she learned the value of recycling long before she entered the contest. For more than a year, she recycled aluminum cans to save the $1,115 needed to buy a real harp. She named her sculpture: “Recycling Brings Music To My Ears.”

        Zach Songer, a fifth-grader at Hayes Elementary in Hamilton, placed first with his two-story log cabin made from sticks, 2-liter bottles, shelf paper and a variety of other recycled materials.

        “I learned what stuff is recyclable and what stuff isn't, and I also learned that glue guns are hot,” Zach said.

        The Recycled Sculpture Contest is open to all Butler County fourth- and fifth-graders. This year, 450 students from 11 schools participated.

        Linda Hanson, art teacher at Heritage Elementary in the Lakota Local School District, said the contest helps children exercise their creative powers. Three of her students were among the 32 finalists.

        “It also teaches children to use items we normally throw away and turn them into works of art,” Ms. Hanson said.

        In September, each school selected three finalists for the countywide contest.

        At the final competition Thursday, five winners were chosen. Each received trophies made from recycled pop cans. The top three also received $50 savings bonds.

        Other top winners: Kristen Demarre, a fourth-grader at Elda Elementary in Ross Township, second place for her witch called “Garbage Is Ugly”; Ryan Sherrow, a fifth-grader at Hayes Elementary, fourth place for his alligator called “The Allumagator,” and Chris Moore, a fourth-grader at Seven Mile Elementary in Seven Mile, fifth place for his dinosaur called “T-Rex.”

        Judges were Hamilton City Manager Steve Sorrell, Hamilton City Councilwoman Kathy Becker, Butler County Juvenile Court Judge David Niehaus, Butler County Administrator Derek Conklin, and community activist and volunteer Irma Gilbert.


        For more information about recycling and litter prevention, call the Butler County Recycling and Litter Prevention office at 887-3406.


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