ByLauren Murphy

Nov 16, 2016

Eco-minded students, listen up: You can be rewarded for your creativity and recycling prowess, thanks to the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) and JASON Learning. They’re holding a contest providing young filmmakers, artists and recycling advocates with a platform to express their creativity in building recycling awareness.

The Backstory

Recyclable material doesn’t only include cardboard boxes, old newspapers and glass bottles. What about larger items like cars, bridges and appliances? The recycling of such materials is known as scrap recycling. ISRI is a prominent trade association advocating for safety and responsibility in all areas of scrap recycling. This multibillion-dollar industry boasts great environmental benefits, yet is lacking the recognition and support it warrants.

Meanwhile, JASON Learning is working hard to bring science into the classroom through experiential and comprehensive curricula in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). JASON believes in the increasing importance of STEM education and strives to launch students into associated careers.

For the fourth consecutive year, ISRI and JASON Learning are combining their respective missions and holding two creative recycling contests open to K-12 students, with a big prize attached.

“In everything we do at JASON, we try to link kids to the real-world applications of the STEM subjects they study in school,” said Patrick Shea, JASON’s executive vice president. “Contests such as this one are a fun way for them to explore areas of STEM that they might otherwise never think of, or make a personal connection with. When they do, we’re always amazed at the depth of their understanding and the creativity they put into sharing what they’ve learned. The themes of this year’s contest provide students with opportunities to delve deeper into the scrap recycling industry, and we can’t wait to see what they come up with.”

Poster Contest: Voice of the Recycling Industry

ISRI is recognized as the “voice of the recycling industry,” representing thousands of companies around the world, providing important education and advocacy, and promoting awareness of the vitality of recycling. ISRI wants to see this concept in poster form. Students are encouraged to use their creativity to design a unique poster exhibiting the role of ISRI as the international leader in recycling and the “voice of the recycling industry.”

Video Contest: Bigger Than the Bin, Recycling Role Models

Video entries may stick to either of two themes this year. The first, “Bigger Than the Bin,” challenges students to find a way to recycle an item that doesn’t quite fit in the typical blue bins dedicated to curbside pickup. Contestants should choose an item “bigger than the bin,” research how to recycle it, and create an original video that tells their recycling story, incorporating thought processes and challenges encountered along the way.

“Recycling Role Models” is another theme video entries can cover. This option asks contestants to find a recycling professional and ISRI member to interview about their experience and career in the recycling industry. A creative video should document insights and learning experienced through the process.

The Road to Success

As with most contests, there are a few rules. Find out more about poster sizes, video lengths and how to enter here.

Finalists will be featured on the JASON and ISRI websites and will receive a year of learning through JASON online access, a contest T-shirt and a certificate of achievement. Grand-prize winners will find themselves participating at ISRI’s 2017 Annual Convention and Exposition in New Orleans. The deadline to enter creative recycling pieces is Jan. 20.

Want to see what it takes to nab the big prize? Check out last year’s winning entries.

Featured image courtesy of

By Lauren Murphy

Lauren has a B.S. in environmental science, a crafting addiction, and a love for all things Pacific Northwest. She writes from her cozy downtown apartment tucked in the very northwestern corner of the continental U.S. Lauren spends her time writing and focusing on a healthy, simple and sustainable lifestyle.