JEFFERSON CITY Mo – Missouri elementary, middle and home school students K-8 are invited to help in the fight against litter -- and to have creative and educational fun -- by participating in the 2011 “Yes You CAN Make Missouri Litter Free” Trash-Can Decorating Contest. The annual contest is sponsored by the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) and the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) as part of the state’s ongoing “No MOre Trash!” campaign to raise awareness about Missouri's litter problem and to discourage littering.
“Missourians care about conserving our fish forest and wildlife,” said MDC No MOre Trash! Coordinator Joe Jerek. “Littering isn’t just ugly, it hurts wildlife, it costs Missourians millions of tax dollars each year, and it’s illegal. Birds, fish, turtles and other animals get tangled in litter, such as plastic six-pack holders and fishing line, and it can kill them. Litter and other trash can also poison fish, birds and other wildlife.”
Jerek added that MoDOT spends more than $5 million each year cleaning litter from Missouri’s roadsides and the MDC spends almost $1 million a year to clean litter from conservation areas and other department locations.
“Littering, even tossing a can or cigarette butt, can cost up to $1,000 in fines and one year in jail,” he said.
The 2011 “Yes You CAN Make Missouri Litter Free” Trash-Can Decorating Contest encourages students 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. There is no entry fee. Participating classes and groups must submit an entry form and photo of the completed can. Schools may submit one entry in each competition category: K-2, 3-5 and 6-8. Only Missouri schools, including home schools, are eligible. Entries are judged based on creativity, adherence to contest rules and effective use of theme and logo. Deadline for entries is March 1.
In addition to the educational value of teaching children about the impacts of litter on their lives and the environment, the first-place entry from each competition category receives a $100 award. All first-place winners are eligible for a grand prize of $500 and a trophy.
Contest rules, entry forms, the “No MOre Trash!” logo, 2010 contest winners, facts on litter and educational information are available online at www.nomoretrash.org. For more information, call 573-522-4115, ext. 3362, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.