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Recyled Art Contest

Recycled Art Contest for Wahoo Elementary School Students

Wahoo, Nebraska

How it Worked

1)  Six weeks before the contest date of Nov 15, National Recycling Day, I outlined the concept on paper - a one-pager to give people an idea of what I was talking about. I felt it was important to keep it to one page because nobody wants to read more than that, and if it's too complicated to fit on one page it might be too difficult to pull off.  he point of my effort was to raise recycling awareness in the community in a way that would be fun and rewarding, instead of just another responsibility. Here is the one-pager:

Recycled Art Contest for Wahoo Elementary School Students

When:  Saturday, November 15, 2003

Why:   To celebrate National Recycling Day!

Where: Wahoo Elementary School Cafe

Sponsored byRegion V (Susanne Nelson, phone)

Wahoo Elementary School

Coordinator:    Nancy Meyer, phone


Oct 20 – Nov 14:         Entry forms, including rules, available at school office and Region V

Nov 14, 3:30-5 pm:      Students submit their artwork & entry forms at Wahoo Elementary cafe

Nov 14, 5-7 pm:          Artwork is judged

Nov 15, 10-12 pm:      Judges’ scorecards are tallied and prizes assigned

Nov 15, 1:00 pm:         Prize Award Ceremony at Wahoo Elementary School Cafe

Nov 15, 1-3:30 pm:      Art on display to public

ALL ARTISTS will receive a participation prize because when people recycle, everybody wins!

Examples of the Prizes to be Awarded:

For art made from . . . Prize

Aluminum . . . case of canned pop and coupon for increased aluminum buyback rate from Region V

Telephone books . . . $10 store credit from Sunmart or $10 Phone card

Old books . . . 2 books

Old clothes . . . t-shirt from Gottschalk’s Athletics

Rubber tires . . . basketball from Walker Tire

Paper . . . 20 Rolls of Kick Butt toilet paper, stuffed animal

Newspapers . . . $15 cash

Plastics #1 & #2 . . . toys or 2-liter pop and cookies

Magazines . . . gifts from Lucille’s Gifts and Loerch’s Jeweler’s and stuffed animals

Steel cans . . . $10 store credit from Sunmart

Mixed . . . Army tool bag or Keep Nebraska Beautiful tote bag

2)  I approached the local recycling org, which in Wahoo is Region V Services.  Region V takes in paper and aluminum and sells it to vendors in Lincoln and Omaha.  They are a non-profit in that they provide work for severely disabled people in the community.  Their employees provide custodial services, cook meals at the jail, do backup paper delivery etc, as well as run the Region V Recycling Center.  I already had a good relationship with the Coordinator at Region V because I had promoted recycling so effectively by teaching free classes at the grade school last spring (via the Waste In Place curriculum available via the Keep America Beautiful national org -- let me know if you need more info on this) that Region V had a 40% increase in their aluminum buyback from the community during that time.  Susanne (the coordinator) immediately jumped on the idea and was willing to do whatever it took to get it done.

3)  I presented the idea to the principal of the public elementary school.  Again, I had a good relationship with her already due to providing the free classes last spring -- these classes covered state standards her teachers had to fulfill anyway, so it was a boon to her staff.  However, I was well aware that she was not going to say yes to a lot of work, so I made it clear that I only needed her school for 24 hours, that we would do all our own setup and cleanup, that it would cost nothing, and that none of her staff would be asked to do anything more than communicate it to the students.  Again, my one-pager came in handy.  Once I got a "yes" from the principal (and, this is key, I stood in her office and watched her write it on the school calendar), I knew the contest was going to work.

4) I reviewed my Wahoo Recycling Opportunities list (which I had already researched and prepared the previous spring as a class handout) that shows what can be recycled in Wahoo and where.  From that list I selected 12 categories of recyclables.  Next I divided the grades in the elementary school into 3 groups:  K-1, 2-3, 4-5.  I built a table (first worksheet in excel file attached) that cross-referenced each grade group by category such that I would have 3 winners per recyclable material, one for each grade group.  With 12 categories and 3 grade groups that made for 36 recyclable category/grade groups, or prize slots.  Since I was determined to give a participation prize to promote the idea that everyone wins when people recycle, I noted that I would need to find sponsor(s) to contribute a large number of small items to serve as handouts to all participants.  I was also set on the idea of handing out a stamped and pre-addressed thank-you note with each and every prize, telling the children to write it out and drop it in the mail to the sponsor who donated it.  I felt this would be much more meaningful to the sponsor than a thank-you note from me.  So this meant I had to find sponsors to donate 36 prizes, 36 thank-you notes and 100+ participation prizes.

5)  Susanne and I wanted to give the students about a month's notice to hear about the contest and prepare their entries, so we decided to publicize it starting mid-Oct.  But publicizing the contest to the students was contingent upon having a list of prizes to lure them to enter, so we had 2 weeks to round up the sponsors.  

Susanne contacted her aluminum and paper vendors, her customers in town such as the newspaper, and her sister organizations in other towns (ex. Region V of Nebraska City makes official army tool bags, so she got them to donate two to the contest).  She also approached her boss and secured donations to cover four prize slots from Region V, as well as a commitment for Xeroxing, setup and cleanup support. 

I walked the downtown area and went cold-calling at likely sponsors, again using my one-pager to explain the contest, plus my empty "dance card" of prize slots.  This was by far the hardest part of putting together the contest.  I could tell you lots of funny and pathetic stories of the kinds of "welcomes" I received.  But to save space, suffice it to say that I had to develop a tough hide and a strategy:

  • Do not enter the store and go directly to asking for the manager.  It puts people off since with papers in hand you look like some one with something to sell them.  Instead, browse the store in search of specific items you will ask for.  If possible, buy an item or two that you need anyway.  Then ask for the manager during checkout, when the workers are most receptive.  You then appear as a customer to them vs. some one with an agenda.
  • Make it clear immediately to the sponsor that you are a parent asking for help with a school-related project.  Decide in advance what category it would make sense for that vendor to sponsor (for example, I asked the tire store to sponsor the rubber category and the grocery stores to sponsor the steel can and plastics categories).  Ask the vendor to sponsor a whole category, which means you will be asking for 3 prizes each time.  Sometimes they will do more, sometimes less, but it gives them a framework.
  • Ask for something they can afford to part with, such as something from a sale table, a high turn-around item, or anything that carries their name or logo.  The typical prize donated cost $5 - $15 retail.
  • Show them who else has agreed to sponsor by pointing to the names listed on your paperwork.  In a small town this is really critical, since everyone knows everyone else and you gain legitimacy in one person's eyes if you've already gotten some one they know to participate.  So having Region V already listed was good -- kind of like the way street musicians put a dollar bill in their own hat for starters to show the crowd that the process is already working.  It also is very useful for vendors to see that their competition in town is involved.  This came in handy at the banks, which seemed to want to one-up each other on what they would contribute.
  • Explain to the sponsors that the newspaper will be covering the event.  Again, I was fortunate in working in a small town where the weekly newspaper covered every little thing that happened, and was always game to cover a school event.  I could pretty much guarantee this because again, I have a good relationship with the local editor due to being able to give them 3 years of Girl Scout news.  So the sponsors could immediately see this for what it was worth to them:  free publicity plus a write-off for contributing an overstocked or marketing item.
  • Each time you secure a sponsor, ask them if they'd like to attend the contest to present their prizes and/or participate as a judge.  This gives them a bigger stake in the process if they want it.

6)  I found some prizes I really wanted to give, but the vendor could not afford to donate.  So I decided to present the contest to the school PTO to request funds for these prizes, as well as solicit any other volunteer help.  Presenting at a PTO meeting is not nearly as much fun as it may sound, but I did get $75 committed to the project to buy stamps, prizes and whatever else came up, plus a volunteer judge.

7) I approached the elementary art teacher about the contest and she was enthusiastic.  She made a special effort to promote it by having kids make the art in her classroom, and agreed to serve as judge.

8) Next step was to get the kids as excited as we were.  I told my two daughters to invite their friends over for a pizza, pop and poster-making party one afternoon.  I fed them up and sent them down into the basement with markers and paints and some lists describing the contest logistics, categories and prizes.  They did a GREAT job.  The first graders actually did better work than the 5th graders because their posters were simple and direct with a single image and message.  One girl drew a picture of a pop can and wrote "Drink Pop and Make Art".  Another drew a big tire and wrote inside it "You can make stuff out of old tires and win a prize!"  My daughters were only too glad to put the posters up throughout the school.

9) I xeroxed a version of my one-pager and put it in every teacher's mailbox labeled "please announce to your classroom immediately".  This version had contest rules, timeline and how to enter details on it, as well as the prize bait.  Here it is:

What:  Recycled Art Contest for Wahoo Elementary School Students

When: Saturday, November 15, 2003, 1:00 – 3:30 pm

Why:           To celebrate National Recycling Day!

Where:         Wahoo Elementary School Cafeteria


How to Enter:

1.  Make art out of one of the following kinds of materials that are recyclable in Wahoo (nonrecyclable fasteners such as glue and tape are permitted):

Aluminum         Phone books                Paper               Books/records/tapes                 Newspaper

Household/Clothing      Corrugated Cardboard Plastics #1 & #2 only                Rubber Tires

Magazines/Catalogs                  Steel Cans                    Mixed (any combination of the others)

2. Turn in your artwork with an entry form on Friday, Nov 14 between 3:30 and 5:00 pm at the Wahoo Elementary cafeteria.  Entry forms available in office or from Mrs. Klemme.

3. Come to the Wahoo Elementary cafeteria on Saturday, Nov 15 at 1:00 pm to claim your prize!*

*Three prizes will be awarded for each material category, one for each grade bracket (K-1, 2-3, 4-5).


Examples of the Prizes to be Awarded:

For art made from . . . Prize

Aluminum . . . case of canned pop and/or coupon for increased aluminum buyback rate from Region V

Telephone books . . . $10 store credit from Sunmart or Phone card

Old books/records/tapes . . . 2 books

Old clothes . . . t-shirt

Rubber tires . . . Basketball

Paper . . . 20 Rolls of Kick Butt toilet paper and a stuffed animal

Newspapers . . . $15 cash

Plastics #1 & #2 . . . toys or 2-liter pop and cookies and a stuffed animal

Magazines . . . Stuffed animals or gifts

Steel cans . . . $10 store credit from Sunmart

Mixed . . . Army tool bag or tote bag

Corrugated Cardboard . . . Art kits

10) I prepared an entry form and Susanne had one of her assistants format it into a tri-fold showing contest rules and process on one side, entry form on the other. She Xeroxed these forms onto blue paper so they would stand out against the many other fall-colored yellow, orange, brown and red items currently competing for people’s attention at the school. We placed these, plus the Wahoo Recycling Opportunities list, in the school office and art room.  The rules and entry form are on the next page.

I want to point out here that while it was an art contest, the key purpose was to promote awareness of recycling, so I made the very first contest rule "All materials used must be recyclable in Wahoo." The importance of this was reinforced on the entry form, which required the artist to list materials used and where they could be recycled locally. It also translated into one of the four judging criteria whereby points were awarded based on the percentage of the art that was recyclable. Let me tell you some kids still did not get it, and used things like #5 plastic.

Wahoo Elementary School Recycled Art Contest


1. All materials used in artwork MUST be able to be recycled locally (exceptions are glue and tape).

2. Contest open to Wahoo Elementary School students grades K-5.

3. Fully completed entry form must accompany all artwork.

4. Entries must be handmade by student(s).

5. Entries must be delivered to Wahoo Elementary Cafeteria between 3:30 and 5:00 pm, Friday, November 14, 2003, and picked up by artist no later than 3:30 pm Saturday, November 15, 2003.  Artwork not picked up by artist will be recycled by the contest workers.

6. All materials used in artwork must be clean and safe (ex. no dirty containers or sharp edges).

7. More than one artist can be listed on a single entry; however, grade bracket will be that of the oldest child, and only one prize will be given if it wins.

8. All artists will receive a participation prize.

9. No glass or non-corrugated cardboard (paperboard, like that used in cereal boxes) and only plastics #1 and #2 can be used.  “Steel cans” refers to soup, coffee or other food cans.  Aluminum can be cans, pie plates or foil.

10. Judging will be based on the artwork’s creativity and the artist’s adherence to these contest rules.

Official Entry Form

1.  Artist Name(s):  ____________________________

2.  Grade:  _________________

3.  Circle one category your artwork represents (if no category specified, judges will choose):

Aluminum         Phone books                Paper               Books/records/tapes                 Newspaper

Household/Clothing                  Plastics #1 & #2 only                Rubber Tires

Magazines/Catalogs                  Corrugated Cardboard             Steel Cans                    Mixed

4.  Artwork Title:  __________________________

5.  List all materials used (you do not need to list glue or tape).  Continue list on back if needed.

Material _______________ Where it can be recycled in Wahoo ____________________________________

Material _______________ Where it can be recycled in Wahoo ____________________________________

Material _______________ Where it can be recycled in Wahoo ____________________________________

Material _______________ Where it can be recycled in Wahoo ____________________________________

6.  What do you want to happen to your artwork when the contest is over (circle one)?

Artist will pick up and recycle it             Contest workers should recycle it

11)  About 3 weeks before the contest I held a judges' meeting. The seven judges agreed to meet in the local library to discuss contest rules, judging process, tie-breaking strategies, etc. I showed them a timeline to ground them on all the process, and secured volunteers from the group to fill out the thank-you notes, make prize certificates and print artist ID badges. Then I presented them with a "straw man" judging form. We reviewed the rules, and tweaked the judging process. Then we worked out "what to do ifs" such as what if no one entered a specific category/grade group. The meeting went very well. Here’s a copy of the judges’ meeting agenda and final scorecard: 

Wahoo Elementary Recycled Art Contest

Judges Meeting

Friday, October 24, 2003





Susanne Nelson

Region V Wahoo


Joyce Koranda

Region V Wahoo


Judy Coday

Wahoo Public Library


Diane O’Brien

Wahoo Elementary PTO


Paula Pestal

Barrister’s Garden


Sue Klemme

Wahoo Elementary School


Janie York

Janie Lynn Textiles


Ringleader:     Nancy Meyer

Meeting Agenda:

1. Review contest timeline:

Oct 20 – Nov 14:         Entry forms, including rules, available at school office and Region V

Nov 14, 3:30-5 pm:      Students submit their artwork & entry forms at Wahoo Elementary cafe

Nov 14, 5:00-7 pm:      Artwork is judged

Nov 15, 10-12 pm:      Judges’ scorecards are tallied and prizes assigned

Nov 15, 1:00 pm:         Prize Award Ceremony at Wahoo Elementary School Cafe

Nov 15, 1-3:30 pm:      Art on display to public

Nov 15, 3:30 pm:         Region V recycles art not taken by students

1. Review judges’ duties:

    • by 11/14 Filling out Thank-You notes (Judy is doing this)
    • on 11/14 Receiving entries:
      • make sure form is filled out completely & attached to artwork
      • use spreadsheet for materials used list
      • get phone number !! (should have put space for this on entry form)
      • give participation prize (first 100 K/1 entrants will get coloring book, after that artists get a pencil or pen)
      • give Artist ID tag and tell them to wear when they come back next day
      • hand off artwork to Region V workers to set up
    • on 11/14 Judging (details below)
    • on 11/15 Presenting (all but Judy and Janie can be there to help)

2. Artist ID tags – Paula will make 300 badges that simply say “Artist” to be given with participation prizes when entries are submitted.  Children will be told to wear them when they return the following day.  Winner certificates – Diane will make 40 winner certificates for the prizes (36) and grand prizes (4).  She will contact Susanne and Nancy for help in printing if necessary.

3. Review prizes for categories & make final assignments

4. Review judging forms (see below)

5. Determine what to do in case of ties – draw from hat!

6. Determine how to award grand prizes:

There are expected to be 4 grand prizes – two $100 and two $50 US savings bonds.  They will be assigned as follows:

Highest Score of all individual entries in Category Grouping = $100 savings bond

There are two category groupings:  Paper and Non-paper.

Paper categories include:

  • Paper
  • Newspaper
  • Telephone books
  • Books/Records/Tapes
  • Magazines/catalogs
  • Corrugated Cardboard

Non-paper categories include:

  • Aluminum
  • Steel Cans
  • Tires
  • Clothing/Household
  • Mixed

In case of tie, draw from hat for first and second prize.  If not, give $50 savings bond to second-highest score, or draw from hat in case of tie on second highest score.

Nancy will get somebody to bring in supper for judges Nov 14.

Nancy will get message to grade school ASAP:

“Due to the nature of the grand prizes (US Savings Bonds), only artwork made by an individual artist is eligible to win a grand prize.  Artwork made by a team of two or more students is eligible for the other prize categories.”

7. What to do in case of no entries in a category/bracket – Nancy will determine whether this is the case while the judging is in process and confer with judges to remedy at that time.

Wahoo Elementary School Recycled Art Contest - Judge Score Card

Instructions to judges:

1.       Fill out one scorecard per contest entry.

2.       Score each entry (taking into account the artist’s grade bracket) on a scale of 1 – 5, where:

5 = outstanding        4 = well done                3 = good effort              2 = nice try       1 = oops

3.       Total score will be tallied for you.

1)  Artist(s) Name:  __________________________________________________________

2)  Artwork Title:  ___________________________________________________________

3)  Grade Bracket:                 K-1                              2-3                               4-5

4)  Category:   Aluminum         Phone books                Paper               Books/records/tapes    

Newspaper      Household/Clothing                  Plastics #1 & #2 only                Rubber Tires

Magazines/Catalogs                  Corrugated Cardboard             Steel Cans                    Mixed

5)         Score   Criteria

____    % materials are recyclable locally (exceptions=glue & tape). 1=20%, 2=40% etc.

____    Entry appears to be handmade by student(s).

____    All materials are clean, safe and neat.

____    Entry shows creativity.

16) The day of the contest we had about 127 students turn in their artwork in the cafeteria before they went home for the day.  In addition to the judges processing the entries, Region V had a couple workers and my husband graciously pitched in.  That made for 11 volunteers that night, however I can say that it could have been done with 7-8 people just as well.  My husband did a run to the local Pizza Hut, which had agreed to feed the volunteer crew for free.  This was an important convenience to the judges, and turned out to be the only real way I thanked them for their support.

To process each entry we reviewed the entry form with the student to make sure it was filled out correctly.  We made a point of having the student use the Wahoo Recycling Opportunities list to indicate where their materials could be recycled.  We also took down the student’s phone number in case their artwork did not get picked up later (this had been left off the entry form).  We gave the student their entry prize, their artist ID badge to wear to the contest and a copy of the Wahoo Recycling Opportunities list to take home.  Some judges processed entries while others taped the forms to the entries and carried them off to place them on a table.

17)  Once all the entries were sorted onto specific tables by prize slot, we discovered that many prizes were to go un-awarded due to absence of entries.  So we did a lot of re-assigning of entries to fill the prize slots if at all possible.  This meant that many winners were simply by virtue of being the only entry in a prize slot.  Also some reassignments were stretching it a bit.  For example, one of the phone book winners was the only entry in its prize slot, despite the fact that the artwork contained a variety of recyclables, the least of which was a partial page from a phone book.  Many entries from the mixed categories were re-assigned this way.  But the judges as a group decided that it was more appropriate to find a way to award all the prizes than to do anything else we could think of with them, so that's what we did.

18) Each entry was scored by two judges.  This allowed for balance in judging and kept the judges from having to score each and every one of the over 120 entries (very time-consuming).  We tallied the scores for all entries and sorted the highest scores to the top of each prize slot pile.  Then we counted up the ties, and compared that to the number of un-entered category/grade groups (aka prize slots).  The numbers were the same!  So whereas before the contest we thought we'd have to break a tie, it turned out we had enough prizes to cover all winners, even where ties occurred.  This was a coincidence; probably we would have come up with a second place winner system of some kind if it had not happened.

One very wonderful thing that had happened for the contest was that Susanne's aluminum vendor had really gotten excited about the contest to the point that he committed a $100 and a $50 savings bond and suggested we give them as grand prizes.  Then he challenged her paper vendor to match his contribution, and they did!!  So we had four grand prizes to award.  I separated the 12 categories of recyclables into two category groups:  paper based and non-paper based.  There were six paper-based categories:  office paper, phone books, hardback and paperback books, cardboard, newspaper and magazines and catalogs.  All other recyclables such as metals, rubber and mixed went into the non-paper based category group.  We selected the two highest scores among all the winners in each category group, and assigned those as first and second prize.  Where there was a tie, the judges reviewed the entries and voted.  So the aluminum vendor’s $100 and $50 savings bonds went to the first and second place grand prizewinners in the non-paper category, respectively.  Likewise, the paper vendor’s 100 and $50 savings bonds went to the first and second place grand prizewinners in the paper category, respectively.

19) The next day at 1:00 we opened the school and started the awards ceremony.  I gave my little pitch about recycling and explained how the contest worked before getting to the prizes, knowing no one would listen afterward.  My opening remarks are listed below. Three judges stood on stage with me and helped hand out the prizes and took turns announcing the winners.  We made a point of saying not only who won but also what they won and who donated it.

Opening Remarks for Awards Ceremony:

Welcome everyone to the First Annual Wahoo Elementary Recycled Art Contest!

Thanks everyone involved:

  • Mrs. Weibold, the school
  • The judges
  • The sponsors, especially Region V
  • Setup - Region V employees, Gary, my husband
  • Kids and their parents
  • Folks for coming today to look at the artwork

It’s been a fun contest -- beautiful & creative artwork  -- all in support of recycling in Wahoo

Purpose of Contest was to celebrate November 15, National Recycling Day, with a fun way to promote recycling awareness in our community.  To that end I want to emphasize that all artists received a participation prize because when people recycle, everybody wins.  By the way, there are quite a few participation prizes left, so before you leave make sure you get one.

With that in mind, explain a little about the judging – based on:

  • how clean and safe the artwork is
  • how creative the artwork is
  • how much of the artwork was made of materials that can be recycled in Wahoo

That means that this spreadsheet is an invaluable tool for determining what to use in your artwork – EVERYONE PLEASE TAKE ONE HOME TODAY.

A word about the prizes; they consist of:

  • a certificate
  • the prize itself
  • a stamped, pre-addressed thank-you note for sponsor or sponsors of the prize

heads up parents, this is important!  All the child has to do is write the thank you note and drop it in the mail.  We’d really like to get 100% participation on this because it is the only way our generous sponsors will be thanked for all their great contributions.

Here’s how we’re going to announce the prizes:

  • By category– we’ll get all winners in that category up on the stage for pictures and applause
  • We will be giving prizes to all winners in the case of ties. This was not originally intended; we had thought we’d need to devise a way to break the ties, but there were quite a few categories with no entries, so we were able to redistribute those prizes to artists who had tying entries.  This may not be possible in the future, so I encourage you artists out there to take notice of the categories that had no entries and consider entering those next year.
  • Grand Prizes will be given at the end, so stick around!

Finally, I want to emphasize that if you want your artwork back, PLEASE take it home today.  For anything left over that the artist indicated he/she wanted back, please see Ms. Klemme.

The newspaper was there to cover the story, so at the end of the contest I asked all winners to return to the stage for a picture. Then I reminded the artists to take home their artwork if they did not want Region V to recycle it for them.

Several artists were not present to receive their prize, so we moved the prizes to the school office and decided to call them out of class on Monday to get them.  This group included the four grand prizewinners! I called each one of them at home over the weekend to make sure the parents knew that there would be a US savings bond in their child’s backpack when the child got home from school on Monday.  One parent did not even know her child had entered the contest!! Another parent decided to come to school to pick up that savings bond herself, so the child would not ever have to be responsible for it.

20) The last step in the contest was for me to send out thank-you notes to the sponsors who did not give specific prizes. These included the school, the Pizza Hut and the banks (who gave pens, pencils and coloring books for participation prizes).

There were no real obstacles in the process other than the awkwardness of having to ask for sponsorship at the vendors and the PTO. I overcame this with the strategy I described above, and a little pluck.

There are a number of things I would do differently next time, based on the experience at our school.  These are listed below.

Things we learned/might do differently:

Very few kids bring art projects after school, but since school is okay with sending kids down to the cafeteria with their art during the day, check-in can occur during school day.

Best to label tables such as K-1 Plastics and place art projects accordingly during check-in vs. reorganize later.

Only about 127 kids participated in the first year – need to encourage more participation since we won’t have Ms. Klemme make projects in class next year. She was surprised how few of her students entered the art projects made in class.

No need to send home entry forms until the day before the contest date; they just get lost in backpacks.

Many, many category-grade combinations went un-entered; could we have a sign-up sheet so kids can see that some categories aren’t being entered?

Need some way to predict # of entries so we can better predict # of participation prizes needed. We ended up with many extras.

Need some way to make sure the Wahoo Recycling Opportunities list gets home with every contest attendee.

Award ceremony should start ½ hour after doors open to give people time to get settled.

Need the award ceremony better promoted to parents and the public to obtain better attendance.

Award ceremony took about 45 minutes and everybody leaves afterward, so need to schedule less time for that.  Had originally scheduled 1:00 – 3:30, but closed up at 2:00 pm.

Need to clarify to everyone WHEN art is available for pickup and where.

Perhaps need to make contest ceremony on same day as contest entries? Saturday contest ceremony and art display was not as well attended as we’d hoped.

Need a judging category to separate creativity from artistic merit, i.e. execution vs. concept?

Need a better system for taking off points for non-recyclables, such as a checker to see that this is done consistently and is well understood.

Need to better clarify paperboard vs. corrugated cardboard. People still don’t get it. Some entries in cardboard and mixed categories lost points as a result.

Need tags to show winners for public display, like at county fair.

Eliminate categories such as books that probably won’t get entered, or combine these categories into one such as “Mixed and Other”. Books, phone books and rubber were not popular and are not likely to be popular. Newspapers and steel cans were not popular either, but could be if kids were more aware of winning strategies (i.e. enter as many categories as you want, especially the unpopular ones).

May need to rename “steel cans” to just canned food containers and/or give examples such as soup cans or coffee cans. The term may have put off entrants.

Ask for more thank-you notes than you estimate you will need. I ended up buying extras.

Judges recommended drawing from hat to break ties, but during the judging decided to review the ties and vote on winners. I think this was more appropriate and should be agreed on up front to save time.