MRPC News Release

For immediate release
Jan. 18, 2017

For more information, contact
            Jill Hollowell at (573) 265-2993 or

Ozark Rivers kicks off “Be Earth Wise” theme for annual Earth Day poster, trash art contest

ST. JAMES—Ozark Rivers Solid Waste Management District (ORSWMD) anticipates record-breaking participation this year for its 26th Annual Earth Day Art Contest, themed “Be Earth Wise.” Entries will be accepted immediately through March 17th.

This year’s contest theme “Be Earth Wise” expands on the traditional 3-Rs of recycling (reduce, reuse, recycle) to include the following:

  • Rethink – rethink the way we live and how our choices impact our health and environment,
  • Refuse – refuse what you do not need, and
  • Repurpose – repurpose objects by finding new uses rather than discarding them.

 “Waste prevention is the main focus of this year’s art contest, “Be Earth Wise,” and we are encouraging students to consider how they can minimize waste from entering landfills,” said Jill Hollowell, environmental programs specialist at Meramec Regional Planning Commission (MRPC).  “We hope this contest will stimulate ideas on how to rethink wasteful habits and shift habitual actions such as accepting plastic shopping bags to consciously reducing waste by using a canvas shopping bag,” continued Hollowell.

There are two categories for contest entries, which include – posters (hand-drawn or graphic art) and re-purposing recyclables/garbage into three-dimensional pieces of art. All art entries should echo the theme of the contest and/or an underlying solid waste management theme to rethink, refuse, reduce, reuse, repurpose and then recycle.

ORSWMD Chairman Brady Wilson has been involved with the solid waste district and the Earth Day contest for well over 10 years.

“I believe these contests are a great way to engage area youth and to compel them to use their creativity while increasing their awareness about their environment,” Wilson said. “It’s a fun ‘hands-on’ way for students to learn. As in the past, I would expect a great response from area schools and students, and I’d like to thank all that have participated in the past and those that will contribute this year.”

Entries may be dropped off at the county clerk’s office at the nearest courthouse or at MRPC, located at 4 Industrial Dr., St. James. For a complete list of contest rules visit or email Hollowell at

Those wishing to become a contest sponsor may contact Jill Hollowell at 573-265-2993.  Several area banks and businesses usually partner with ORSWMD to provide student prizes.

The Ozark Rivers District consists of Crawford, Dent, Gasconade, Maries, Phelps, Pulaski and Washington counties and their respective cities with populations of 500 or more.

The district’s strategy for solid waste reduction, which has been individually adopted by all member governments and approved by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR), involves intense education and increased recycling efforts in member counties and cities.

MRPC provides the day-to-day management for the solid waste management district. For more information about ORSWMD or recycling opportunities in the Ozark Rivers region, contact Tammy Snodgrass at 573-265-2993 or by email at

Formed in 1969, MRPC is a voluntary council of governments serving Crawford, Dent, Gasconade, Maries, Osage, Phelps, Pulaski, Washington counties and their respective cities. A professional staff of 25, directed by the MRPC board, offers technical assistance and services, such as grant preparation and administration, housing assistance, transportation planning, environmental planning, ordinance codification, business loans and other services to member communities.

To keep up with the latest MRPC news and events, visit the MRPC website at or on Facebook at


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