ST. JAMES––An estimated 13 regional businesses are sponsoring the prizes for the Ozark Rivers Solid Waste Management District’s (ORSWMD) 25th Annual Earth Day Art Contest, themed “Get Wired for E-Cycling!” The number of sponsors continues to grow.

Sponsors of the ORSWMD event include the Bank of Salem, Belgrade State Bank, City of Rolla Recycling Center, Citizens Bank of Newburg, Legends Bank, Maries County Bank of Belle, Maries County Bank of Vienna, Ozark Federal Savings and Loan Association, Phelps County Bank, Peoples Bank of Cuba, Peoples Bank of Steelville, Town & Country Bank and The Missouri Bank of Hermann.

The Ozark Rivers Earth Day contest is a poster and trash art competition open to all students in grades kindergarten through 12th in Crawford, Dent, Gasconade, Maries, Phelps, Pulaski and Washington counties. Homeschool students meeting these criteria are eligible and encouraged to participate. The graphic art portion of the contest is also open to post-secondary students. This year’s theme focuses on electronics recycling.

“E-Cycling refers to the process of reclaiming valuable resources from electronics, anything running on a cord or battery, and this year’s theme looks to increase public awareness of the district’s annual E-Cycling collections,” said Jill Hollowell, environmental program specialist at Meramec Regional Planning Commission (MRPC).

MRPC provides the day-to-day management for the solid waste management district.

Students have the opportunity to participate in multiple contest categories, including posters (hand-drawn and graphic arts), and re-purposing recyclables and trash into three-dimensional pieces of trash art. All art entries should echo the theme of the contest and an underlying solid waste management theme to rethink, refuse, reduce, re-purpose, reuse and then recycle.

First and second place contest winners will each receive prizes, made possible by sponsor donations. Honorable mention projects will also be recognized. All prizes will be earth-friendly, with the first prize valued at $30, second prize valued at $10 and honorable mention prizes valued at $5.

ORSWMD Chairman Brady Wilson has worked on the Earth Day project in the past and said many students respond to the program.

“The hope with this year’s theme is to turn the focus to one of the fastest growing components of the waste stream, electronic waste,” Wilson said.

Entries for all categories (trash art, hand-drawn poster and graphic arts poster) will be accepted through March 18 and may be dropped off at the county clerk offices at the nearest courthouse or at MRPC, located at 4 Industrial Dr., St. James.

Posters must not exceed 28” x 22”, and trash art projects must not exceed 12”x 12” x 12”. Only one entry per category per student will be accepted, but students may submit entries for all three categories.

All entries must be clearly marked with the student’s name, grade, school district, school name and teacher’s name. If any information is not labeled, the entry will be disqualified.

Full contest rules are available at or by emailing Hollowell at

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.

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, Phelps, Pulaski, Osage, Washington counties and their respective cities. A professional staff of 24, 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