Schools trash litter while having fun through No MOre Trash! contest

News from the region
Published Date

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Ozarks Christian Academy, Smithville Primary Elementary School, and Glasgow R-2 were winners of the 2014 “Yes You CAN Make Missouri Litter Free” trashcan-decorating contest. They were among 29 entries from Missouri elementary, middle, and home schools involving more than 360 students who helped fight litter by participating in the annual contest.

The Missouri Departments of Conservation (MDC) and Transportation (MoDOT) sponsor the contest as 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.

Ozarks Christian Academy in West Plains won the 3-5-Grade Category and Grand Prize for its “Get a Heart… Recycle! Tin Man” entry created by 11 grammar school students of teachers Angela Littlejohn and Denise Estes.

According to their entry, “The spring play at Ozarks Christian Academy in West Plains is The Wizard of Oz. The students decided to keep with that theme and do a Tin Man trashcan. Since the Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz is longing for a heart, they decided ‘Get a Heart...Recycle!’ was a perfect logo for their Trash Can Tin Man. He has been placed in the cafeteria and will encourage and remind students and faculty to recycle plastic drink bottles and soda cans that have been going into the regular trash until now. The Tin Man is made of recycled tin cans, a large water cooler bottle, and a playground ball that was ready for retirement. The students had a lot of fun and creativity flowed as they figured out how to make the eyes, nose, mouth, bow tie, ax, and even his oil can. The teachers helped with the spray paint and the actual hot glue gun as the students assembled their Tin Man. He is a cheery and very useful addition to OCA!”

Smithville Primary Elementary School won the K-2-Grade Category for its “Save a Critter, Please Don’t Litter” entry created by seven students in Girl Scout Troop 1919 of teacher Sara Freeman.

According to their entry of a large rabbit, “This contest is our culminating project for our journey ‘Between Earth and Sky’ where we learn to care for the environment, plants, and animals. We decorated our trash can using paint, chicken wire and tissue-paper pomps, felt, foam, and a balloon for the tail. The girls decided to name the rabbit Cutie.”

Glasgow R-2 won the 6-8-Grade Category for its “Missouri Can’t Bear Any Trash (but this bear can)” entry created by 19 students in teacher Jill Flinn’s sixth grade art class.

According to their entry of a large bear, "Grizzly the Garbage Gobbler just stepped off the Missouri State Flag to join in the Litter Pledge. Students worked for weeks during and after school to complete their reclaimed chicken wire sculpture surrounding a 30-gallon trash can. Thousands of recyclable plastic bags were brought in by students, faculty, and staff. These bags were used to create his thick, textural coat. Having a bear in the school has generated much interest. All of the students are thrilled to throw away their trash in a proper place, especially since they're feeding a grizzly -- safely!”

All entries, including participating schools, groups, and images, are available online at

Bash Trash in April!

All Missourians can help clean up litter through the 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