ST. JAMES––Ozark Rivers Solid Waste Management District (ORSWMD) is now accepting submissions for its 32nd Annual Earth Day Trash Art, Poster and Graphic Art contest. The theme for this year’s art contest is “Rescue Earth’s Resources: Become a First Responder for the Planet.”

The Ozark Rivers Earth Day contest is a poster, trash art, and graphic 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. 

“The planet only has so many resources, by reducing, reusing and recycling we can get the most of the resources and make them last longer,” said Kathryn Hawes, 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 reduce, reuse, and recycle. 

First and second place contest winners will be awarded 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 approximately.

Entries for all categories (trash art, hand-drawn poster and graphic arts poster) will be accepted from March 1st through 17th 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

Co-sponsors of the ORSWMD event include Infuze Credit Union of Rolla and Waynesville, Legends Bank of Belle, Town & Country Bank of Bourbon, Rolla and St. James, Security Bank of Pulaski County, The Missouri Bank, 63 Auto & Truck Parts LLC, Vichy, and Teacher’s Corner of Rolla.  Co-sponsors support the purchase of Earth-friendly prizes for the winning artists.  

If you or your business would like to be a sponsor or for more information about the contest, contact Hawes at 573-265-2993 or by email at

The Ozark Rivers District includes 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 Missouri Department of Natural Resources, involves education and increased recycling and waste reduction efforts in member counties and cities. MRPC provides administration of the district and assists with a variety of implementation projects.

For more information about ORSWMD or waste reduction and recycling opportunities in the Ozark Rivers area, contact Tammy Snodgrass, MRPC environmental programs manager, at 573-265-2993 or by email at Also, find us on Facebook at and on the web at

Formed in 1969, MRPC is a voluntary council of governments serving Crawford, Dent, Gasconade, Maries, Osage, Phelps, Pulaski and Washington counties and their respective cities. Steve Vogt, representing the city of Belle, serves as MRPC chairman. A professional staff of 34, led by Executive Director Bonnie Prigge, 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