Schools win MDC and MoDOT “No MOre Trash!” trashcan contest

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) and the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) congratulate Cowgill Elementary in Cowgill, Randall Elementary in Independence, and Southwest Livingston County R1 in Ludlow on winning the 2017 "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 400 students who helped fight litter by participating in the annual contest.

MDC and MoDOT sponsor the contest as part of Missouri's "No MOre Trash!" campaign to raise awareness about litter and discourage littering. The contest encourages students from kindergarten through eighth grade to join the fight against litter by decorating and displaying a large trashcan 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 grade categories (K-2, 3-5, and 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 staff at MDC and MoDOT.

Cowgill Elementary wins K-2 and grand prize

Congratulations to teachers Miss Morgan and Ms. Farabee and their 16 PK-1 students at Cowgill Elementary on winning the K-2-grade category and the grand prize for their entry, “Oscar will be your fan, if you keep it in the can!!” The school will receive a check for $200 for the category win and $600 and a trophy as grand prize winners.

“The students really enjoyed coming up with a theme,” wrote Farabee in their entry submission. “When they mentioned that Oscar the Grouch loves trash, we thought it was a great idea to incorporate that as the main theme in our trash can design. The students found information about Oscar, including his friend Slimy the Worm, and how Oscar has a sign on his trash can. We incorporated those aspects into the final design. We used scrap, recycled tissue paper and glued it to the scrap cardboard to form Oscar, Slimy, and the base. We found extra bulletin board materials in the school storage room and used those to help decorate with the flowers. To stand our sign and flowers up, we used rulers, Popsicle sticks, and scrap wood pieces that we received from our school maintenance man. We covered the trash can with aluminum foil that the students folded to look like a metal trash can. The students really enjoyed learning about using recycled materials and how we can help our Earth by using these recycled materials when we are making projects. This helps reduce the amount of trash that is on our Earth. They completed their trash can design with the help of the combined preschool, kindergarten and first-grade class.”

Randall Elementary wins 3-5 category

Congratulations to teacher Gretchen Janel Wheaton-Weston and the 19 members of Randall Elementary Student Council on winning the 3-5-grade category for their entry, “Quit Trolling Our Earth.” The school will receive a check for $200 for the category win.

“Randall's Student Council wanted to grab the attention of our students while creating a trash can that would inspire students and families to pick up trash in our town, state, country, and world,” wrote Wheaton-Weston in their entry submission. “This spring, two of the most popular words have been ‘trolling’ and ‘trolls’ so they decided to capitalize on that by bringing to life a popular troll holding a sign asking everyone to quit ‘trolling our earth’ by picking up their trash. The trash can was debuted to the student body and their families at our spring dance. Our troll's hair is lightweight and easily lifts to allow trash to be deposited.” 

Southwest Livingston wins 6-8 category

Congratulation to teacher Amber Hughes and her eight students in Seventh Grade Art at Southwest Livingston County R1 on winning the 6-8-grade category for their entry, “What Does the Fox Say? This Fox Says, ‘Ring a Ding Ding, Recycling!’” The school will receive a check for $200 for the category win.

“The seventh graders focused their entry on an animal that can be found in their area as well as one with declining populations,” wrote Hughes in their entry submission. “The trash can is a red fox made with tissue paper, newsprint, cardboard, soda bottles, and an old yard stick. The front of the fox has a speech bubble that says, ‘This fox says Ring-a-ding ding, recycling!’ The No MOre Trash logo is found on the front of the body. The head, feet, and tail are constructed from old newsprint donated by the local newspaper office. The entire body is covered in tissue paper layers that were fringed. The eyes are made from the bottoms of soda bottles donated by our history teacher. The portal for recyclables is found in the front of the can through the mouth. Due to the unique texturing of the ‘fur’ and the popular slogan theme, it is an eye-catching trash can that generates a lot of talk throughout our K-12 building!”

Get more images and info

See images and information on all entries online at

Bash trash in April and May

Missourians can help clean up litter through the annual No MOre Trash! Trash Bash sponsored by MDC and MoDOT. The month-long event runs April 15 through May 15 and 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