The future of recycling lies with our children, and if the results from this year’s Youth Video and Poster Contest from the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) and JASON Learning are any indication, we’re in good hands.

2017 Recycling Poster Contest

The challenge for the poster contest this year was to design something that highlighted ISRI’s role as the “Voice of the Recycling Industry.” ISRI represents around 1,300 companies that process, broker and consume scrap commodities — things like metals, paper, plastics, glass, rubber, electronics and textiles. As part of their mission, they provide education, safety and compliance training, and promote public awareness of the vital role recycling plays in the economy and the environment.

This year’s entries nailed it! Here’s a look at the 2017 winning posters:

Elementary School Winner: Max Zwilski, Kindergarten, Leesburg, Va.
Middle School Winner: Malisa Lo, 8th Grade, Kapolei, Hawaii
High School Co-Winners: Sophia Ho and Iris Tu, 12th grade, Piscataway Township, N.J.
High School Co-Winners: Alexandra Fryman and team, 12th grade, Plainview, N.Y.

2017 Recycling Video Contest

The challenge for the video contest this year was to create a narrative about recycling items that are “Bigger than the Bin.” There are so many materials that can be recycled but will not fit in your curbside collection bin — like bicycles and skyscrapers — so ISRI wanted students to think about that aspect of the industry for their submissions.

The competitors had to include two or more of the following materials in their videos:

  • steel
  • nonferrous metals
  • paper
  • plastic
  • rubber
  • glass
  • textiles

The winning video was able to convey how one big item could be recycled while giving us a lesson in recycling in a completely disarming manner.

Take a few minutes to enjoy the winning video, featuring LEGO stop-motion filming, from seventh grader Jacob Folwell from Caldwell, Idaho.

As the grand prize winner, Jacob received a trip to ISRI’s national conference in New Orleans, where he thoroughly enjoyed the beignets. Learn about that and more in his interview from the conference (starting around minute 9:00):

This is an annual contest, so if you know a student (or school) who would like to be involved with next year’s competition, keep an eye our for details announced this fall.

Read More:
Kids Explain “Bigger Than the Bin” Recycling
Students Show How Cars Are Recycled
How Do You Recycle a Cellphone? Ask a Kid

By Wendy Gabriel

Wendy Gabriel is a freelance eco-writer based in California. Wendy's work has been featured in numerous publications and websites, including the Chicago Sun-Times, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Fox Business News and For nearly six years, she was a weekly contributor on a popular radio talk show in the Upper Midwest with a segment titled “Simple Tips for Green Living.”