Apply your imagination to recyclable materials

Use your imagination: Take recyclable materials and make something creative to win prizes.

Big Sun Mask by Diane Kurzyna aka Ruby Re-Usable

By Denise Gee
SMU News

DALLAS (SMU) — The medium is the message behind a campus challenge to turn “blue bin” recycled materials into art—an activity that aims to spark creativity while helping SMU advance in the national RecycleMania competition.

For SMU’s own Art of Recycling Contest, sponsored by the SMU Sustainability Committee, the most creative recycler will win a Dahon Folding Bicycle valued at $500. Other prizes to be announced.

Submission deadline is Friday, March 11.

“This should be a real draw for our more artsy set, though it will challenge them to use an unusual medium—trash,” says contest coordinator Kelly Milazzo. “It also should appeal to people who aren’t so right-brained,” she adds. “Consider it a way to just mash things up and make some art.” And maybe even win that bike, donated by the Coca-Cola Ambassador Program. Other prizes also will be awarded.

 “What better way to show folks that blue bin items can be repurposed for many things, including cool works of art?” says Milazzo, an enrollment resources specialist who is on the Sustainability Committee.

Here are the guidelines:

  • The contest is open to all current SMU students, faculty and staff.
  • At least 75 percent of materials used for each entry should be reused items that otherwise would wind up in a trash or recycling bin.
  • The size of each entry should not exceed 4 feet by 4 feet, and should be able to fit through the doors at the Umphrey Lee dining hall RFoC (Real Food on Campus).
  • Each entry should include a brief description of the items used in the artwork, as well as its theme (if applicable), title, and artist contact information.
  • Entries will be judged on “Best Use of Recycled Materials,” “Theme” and “Overall Appearance.”
  • Entries may be submitted by an individual or group.
  • Submission deadline is Friday, March 11.
  • Entries and related information should be brought to the first floor of the Laura Lee Blanton Building.
  • Winners will be notified via e-mail on Monday, March 21. That week, all entries will be displayed at Umphrey Lee’s RFoC.    

For more details about the Art of Recycling Contest, contact Milazzo at or 214-768-0495. To learn more about RecycleMania, click here. And to volunteer for SMU recycling programs or sustainability initiatives, contact environmental manager Eric English at or 214-768-2163.

See the Art of Recycling Contest posters.