2018 Recycling Video & Poster Contest

Recycling is Bigger than the Bin!

Calling all artists, filmmakers, and recyclers! Students in grades K–12 are invited to participate in a national recycling awareness contest sponsored by the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) and JASON Learning. The theme of this year’s contest is “Recycling is Bigger than the Bin!”

Most of the recycling we see today happens in the blue bin in your house. We recycle our paper, newspapers, aluminum cans, plastic bottles, and steel food cans by placing them in the blue bin and putting it on the curb once a week. That’s easy!

But what about those things that are “bigger than the bin”—how are those recycled?

All around us there are items that will not fit into that bin. Everything from bicycles to skyscrapers can potentially be recycled, but not in a blue bin.

Your challenge is to choose an item that is “bigger than the bin” and find a way to recycle it!

Your “bigger than the bin” item must include one or more of the following commodities:

  • ferrous metals (iron, steel)
  • nonferrous metals
  • paper
  • plastic
  • rubber
  • glass
  • textiles

(Hint: unusual items and items composed of two or more commodities could make your entry more interesting and appealing to our judges!)

Then, create an original video or poster that tells us the story of how you recycled your chosen item. Tell us about your thought process, and show us the steps you took to solve this recycling challenge. Your video or poster should educate and inspire others to think more carefully, and act differently, the next time they need to discard an item that is “bigger than the bin!”

Create something amazing, and you could win our grand prize—a trip to ISRI’s annual convention, which will take place in April 2018 in Las Vegas!

The contest is open to all students living in the United States and enrolled in grades K–12 during the 2017–2018 school year. Students can enter the contest as individuals or as a team of up to four individuals. Each individual or team can submit either a video or a poster to the contest. One video and one poster will be selected as a finalist from each of three grade bands: K-4, 5–8, and 9–12. Up to two grand-prize winners will be selected. JASON and ISRI may also acknowledge honorable mentions.

Contest Deadline

All entries must be submitted by December 15, 2017. Winners will be notified by March 1, 2018.

Media Specifications

Video Specifications
The video must be no more than 2 minutes in length. Use of copyrighted video, music, images, logos, and trademarks is prohibited; entries that contain any copyrighted materials will be disqualified unless written permission to use the materials is acquired and submitted to JASON along with the entry.

Poster Specifications
Each poster entry must be a two-dimensional, original piece of artwork done on white poster board with dimensions of 28 in. x 22 in. (71 cm x 56 cm). Any art medium may be used (e.g., colored pencils, crayons, or paint); however, computer graphics will not be accepted. Artwork must be hand-drawn by the entrant. Pale colors should not be used because they are too difficult to reprint. Also note that artwork must be flat (e.g., no glued pieces) and able to be scanned. Please note that any artwork that includes copyrighted or trademarked product names (e.g., Coca-Cola ®) will be disqualified. You must take a high-resolution (at least 3072 x 2304 pixels) digital photograph of your poster in order to submit your entry. One way to do this is to place your poster on the floor in a well-lit room and use a digital camera to take the picture from above.

How to Submit Your Entry

Your teacher/facilitator must upload your video file or the digital photo of your poster along with your name, grade, school/after-school program name, school/after-school program address, and teacher/facilitator’s name, phone number, and e-mail address via the link below. All entries must be uploaded by December 15, 2017.

Note that you will also need to complete the Permission Form before submitting your entry. This form must be signed by a parent or guardian, and you will be asked to upload the completed form immediately after you upload your contest entry file. You can scan and upload a PDF of the signed permission form, or you can submit a digital photo of the signed form. If two or more students are collaborating on an entry, each student will need to submit a completed permission form. See below for more details on media specifications, how to submit your entry, judging, and prizes.

Team Submissions

Any of the contest submissions may be created by individuals or by teams. We do request, however, that team size is limited to no more than 5 students per submission.


Entries will be judged by a committee of representatives from the sponsoring organizations. Judges will evaluate each entry on the clarity and accuracy with which it portrays the process and challenges of recycling the chosen item into a reusable form, how well the entry’s message connects to people’s everyday lives, the creativity and originality of the entry, the quality of the entry, and the overall impression of the entry.

Poster finalists will be required to mail their original artwork upon being notified of their selection as finalists. The finalist videos and posters will be featured on JASON and ISRI websites.

Up to two grand-prize winners will be selected. Grand prize winners will receive a trip for one team representative and a parent/guardian chaperone to ISRI’s Annual Convention & Exposition to be held in Las Vegas in April 2018.

Trip costs covered include airfare for two (student plus parent/guardian chaperone) from a major airport, two nights at the ISRI Convention Hotel, and an ISRI Convention pass for one day, including lunch. In cases where a team (more than one individual) is chosen as the grand-prize winner, the team must choose one individual to represent the team at the conference; additional team members and/or chaperones can attend as well if the team raises the necessary funds on their own to cover their additional travel costs.

Use of Submitted Posters and Videos

JASON Learning and the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) retain the right to use all submitted posters and videos, always making reference to the name of the holder, to project and promote their institutional objectives in any way deemed appropriate in the future (exhibitions, production of commemorative booklets or calendars, creation of CDs, projections on websites, etc.). Participants in this contest explicitly accept this condition and provide JASON and ISRI the right to use their entries.

About the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries

The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Inc. (ISRI) is the “Voice of the Recycling Industry.” ISRI and its 21 chapters represent approximately 1,300 companies operating in nearly 4,000 locations in the U.S. and 34 countries worldwide that process, broker, and consume scrap commodities, including metals, paper, plastics, glass, rubber, electronics, and textiles. With headquarters in Washington, DC, ISRI provides education, advocacy, safety and compliance training, and promotes public awareness of the vital role recycling plays in the U.S. economy, global trade, the environment and sustainable development. Generating more than $105 billion annually in U.S. economic activity, the scrap recycling industry provides nearly half a million Americans with good jobs. For more information about ISRI, please visit www.isri.org.

Helpful Resources

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