By Abigail Loop
Recycling and art are coming together this weekend as three Waco organizations join forces for the first time to bring recycling awareness to the Waco community.
A recycled art show by Keep Waco Beautiful, Waco Solid Waste Services and the Art Center of Waco will start at 4 p.m. Saturday at the Art Center of Waco and is open to the public.
The show is part of a contest Waco area school children took part in, said Meg Gilbert, operations manager at the art center.
Gilbert said the idea first came to the event organizers when Waco Solid Waste Services approached the art center about having something to commemorate America’s Recycling Day, which is on Nov. 15 and educates people about the importance of recycling. The sculpture contest was the result because it could entertain and educate the Waco community.
Gilbert said she likes having a different way for kids to think outside about environmental issues outside the classroom setting.
“It raises both awareness and creativity,” Gilbert said. “So far we’ve received very diverse submissions, especially from Waco High.”
Gilbert said sculptures can be made of all types of recycled materials, whether it be paper, plastic, cardboard or metal. They will have to write down what items they used in their sculpture and be judged on the quality of their structure as well as the variety of recycled items they used. First, second and third places will be named, as well as prizes given out by the art center.
Anna Dunbar, recycling and outreach administrator for solid waste services, said the contest is a good effort to get school kids involved in recycling and also celebrate America’s Recycling Day.
According to Keep America Beautiful, the nation’s leading nonprofit for building and sustaining communities, the United States recycling rate of 34.5 percent annually sends 87 million tons of material to a useful second life instead of the landfill.
Dunbar said she hopes this contest encourages students to become a part of the recycling trend and become more aware of the difference they can make.
“We really wanted to do something different and I’ve heard of some good entries being entered so far, I’m excited,” Dunbar. “I hope this can become an annual thing.”
Gilbert agreed with Dunbar and said the variety of entries will make for a good contest.
“There’s been a lot of unique submissions so far,” Gilbert said. “There’s even one that’s a type of metal man that was made with a message about pollution. It’ll be really fun.”
The Art Center of Waco is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays and admission is free.