Schools trash litter through No MOre Trash! contest

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo – Southwest Livingston County R-1, Littlejohn Homeschool in West Plains and Cowgill R-VI Elementary were winners in the 2013 “Yes You CAN Make Missouri Litter Free” trashcan-decorating contest. They were among 18 Missouri elementary and middle schools and almost 200 students who helped fight litter by participating in the annual contest sponsored by the Missouri Departments of Conservation (MDC) and Transportation (MoDOT). The contest is part of Missouri’s “No MOre Trash!” campaign to raise awareness about litter and 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. Entries are judged by a group of creative staff and No MOreTrash! staff at MDC and MoDOT.

Marj Locker’s 7th Grade Art Class at Southwest Livingston County R-1 won the grade 6-8 category, and the grand prize with their entry, “Give Trash the Boot-Recycle!”

According to their entry, the 14 students created a boot around a trash can. The toe and top of the boot were made out of cardboard and paper mache, and then painted. For the spur, they used cardboard, wire, bolts, foil, a leather belt and macramé rings. Boot décor was made separately and attached. The students added stitching all around and signed the bottom. The boot sets near the school cafeteria by the beverage machine, and during home basketball games near the doors going into the gym.

“The kids worked very hard and created the entire thing themselves, including the theme and design,” Locker wrote. “I’m real proud of their accomplishment!”

Angela Littlejohn’s Siblings Class at Littlejohn Homeschool in West Plains won the grade 3-5 category with their entry, “Transform and Roll Out Trash!”

According to their entry, the three students brainstormed ideas as they talked about protecting the Earth and keeping it clean and free of trash. Transformers naturally came to mind. In the Transformers story, their main purpose is to serve and protect the Earth. Optimus Prime, the leader of the Autobot Transformers, always tells the others to "tranform and roll out" when they have a mission. The Trashcan Transformer has been placed in the Children's Building of First Baptist Church in West Plains.

“We saved the things we usually put in our city recycle bins for several weeks,” Littlejohn wrote in her entry, “and then spread them all over the kitchen floor and let the kids go to work.”

Erin Brister’s Kindergarten/1st Grade Class at Cowgill R-VI Elementary won the grade K-2 category with their entry, “Lorax Says No MOre Trash.”

According to their entry, the three students love Dr. Seuss and chose the Lorax because he likes to help our Earth. They made Truffula Trees because the Lorax helps save them. They used recycled cardboard to make the tree trunks and the Lorax. They covered them with construction paper and colored where needed. They used construction paper to cover the trash can and tissue paper to create the tops of the Truffula Trees. The trash can is located in the cafeteria of the school and is being used to collect paper for recycling.

“If we have No MOre Trash,” wrote Brister, “all of the plants and animals will be able to live healthy lives, just like the Lorax wants.”

Participating schools were:


  • St. Joseph Catholic Elementary School, Archdiocese of St. Louis
  • Cowgill Elementary School, Cowgill R-VI
  • Rogers Elementary School, Mehlville
  • Oak Grove Elementary School, Poplar Bluff R-1


  • St. Joseph Elementary School, Archdiocese of St. Louis
  • Littlejohn Homeschool, West Plains
  • Saint Brendan School, Audrain County
  • Ray Miller Elementary School, Kirksville R-III
  • Shook Elementary School, Marshfield R-1
  • New Bloomfield Elementary School, New Bloomfield R-III
  • Castlio Elementary School, Francis Howell


  • St. Joseph Elementary School, Archdiocese of St. Louis
  • Southwest Livingston County R-1 School, Southwest Livingston County R-1
  • Palmyra Middle School, Palmyra R-1
  • Moreland Ridge Middle School, Blue Springs R-IV
  • Hannibal Middle School, Hannibal School District #60
  • Festus Middle School, Festus R-VI
  • Bosworth RV School, Bosworth RV
  • Maple Park Middle School, North Kansas City
  • School of the Osage Middle School, School of the Osage

Images of all entries are available online at

Trash Trash in April

Others can help clean up litter through Missouri’s annual No MOre Trash! April Trash Bash. The month-long event 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