Schools trash litter through No MOre Trash! contest

News from the region
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo – Almost 285 students from 20 Missouri elementary and middle schools helped fight litter by participating in the 2012 “Yes You CAN Make Missouri Litter Free” trashcan-decorating contest.

The annual contest is sponsored by the Missouri Departments of Conservation (MDC) and Transportation (MoDOT) as part of their ongoing “No MOre Trash!” campaign to raise awareness about litter and to discourage littering. The contest encourages classes from kindergarten through eighth grade to join 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 mediums. The winning school from each of three competition categories (grades K-2, grades 3-5 and grades 6-8) receives a $200 award. First-place winners are then eligible for a $600 grand prize and a trophy.

The OMS Green Team of Oakville Middle School won first place in the grade 6-8 category and the grand prize.

The team’s theme was “Refresh the Earth” to encourage more recycling and less waste and trash in the school and lunch room. The theme was based around plastic bottles and encouraged students and staff to place empty plastic bottles in the large water-bottle-designed trashcan to be recycled. The entire design was made of used and recyclable materials. The 15 students began their campaign by holding a week-long water-bottle collection drive that resulted in hundreds of bottles brought in by students and staff to be used on the trashcan and recycled. The plastic-bottle trashcan is displayed in the front entrance of the school.

The Elementary Student Council of S.M Rissler Elementary School won first place for the grade 3-5 category.

The 12 students asked for input from all 400 students in the building and decided to create the character R2-D2 with their trash can to tie into the release of the Star Wars 3-D movie. The theme slogan was “Trash Creates A Disturbance In the Force!” The students used foil and construction paper from the Art Room scrap box to create the details. They used chicken wire to form the head, then covered it with foil paper and added details from scrap paper. For the legs, they salvaged scrap board from materials in the school maintenance shed. The boards were painted and then screwed to the trash can with help from a parent. They wanted R2-D2 to move, so they put the can on a set of casters. The students introduced R2-D2 to each classroom by wheeling him in and making noises the robot makes in the movies. The can will sit in the main lobby of the school in front of a space mural.

The El Dorado Springs Elementary School K-2 Gifted Class won first place for the grade K-2 category.

The class chose the theme “Don’t Litter, Save A Critter.” The trashcan ladybug was made from recycled newspapers wrapped around two broken hula hoop rings. The newspapers were then covered with recycled 3M paper, which is donated to the school each year. The kids used toilet paper rolls painted with donated paint for the legs and antennas. The spots on the ladybug were made from bottoms of two-liter soda bottles. The 30 gallon trash can, on which the bug was built, was a donated barrel from the local Dairi Concepts factory. The trashcan is on display in the school cafeteria.

Participating schools were:


  • Babler Elementary School (Wildwood, St. Louis County)
  • Breckenridge Elementary School (Breckenridge, Caldwell County)
  • Covel D Searcy Elementary School (Gallatin, Daviess County)
  • Dewey Elementary School (Chillicothe, Livingston County)
  • El Dorado Springs Elementary School (El Dorado Springs, Cedar County)


  • Cathedral Basilica School of St. Louis (St. Louis, St. Louis County)
  • El Dorado Springs Elementary School (El Dorado Springs, Cedar County)
  • Jonesburg Elementary School (Jonesburg, Montgomery County)
  • Lathrop Elementary School (Lathrop, Clinton County)
  • Pleasant Hope Elementary School (Pleasant Hope, Polk County)
  • S. M. Rissler Elementary School (Trenton, Grundy County)


  • Alternative School for At Risk and Exceptional Child (Cedar Hill, Jefferson County)
  • El Dorado Springs Middle School (El Dorado Springs, Cedar County)
  • Fairfax R-3 (Fairfax, Atchison County)
  • Fair Grove Schools (Fair Grove, Greene County)
  • Festus Middle School (Festus, Jefferson County)
  • Jefferson C-123 School (Jefferson City, Cole County)
  • Oakville Middle School (St. Louis, St. Louis County)
  • Osage Middle School (Lake Ozark, Camden & Miller Counties)
  • Perry Christian Academy (Perry, Ralls County)
  • Southwest Livingston County R-1 (Ludlow, Livingston County)
  • Visitation Academy (St. Louis, St. Louis County)

Others can help clean up litter through Missouri’s annual No MOre Trash! April Trash Bash. The month-long event, sponsored by MDC and MoDOT, encourages schools, individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities to pick up litter, educate others about litter, conduct litter-free activities and encourage friends and families to participate. For more information, visit