Won’t you please join us in creating “Visions of our Future” trash art! You may be wondering, “What is Trash Art?” As part of the educational campaign for keeping litter out of our environment and waterways, the Mountain Keepers, Watauga County Cooperative Extension, Watauga River Partners, Watauga County Recycling, Town of Boone, Watauga County Library, Elkland Art Center, Stickboy Bread Co., Mast General Store, and Earthfare, are sponsoring a “trash to art” contest where the only rule is that your art must be less than 3ftx3ft in dimension and made out of 90% reused materials (recyclables and trash).
According to Watauga County Recycling Coordinator, Lisa Doty, an average of eight tractor trailer loads a day are sent to a landfill in Lenoir. Last year 39,784 tons of trash were exported out of Watauga County at a cost of $1,330,991. Recycling is not only good for the environment, but also for the County’s budget since we receive revenue from the sale of recycling. Recycling rates for all materials have continued to increase over the past few years with a 61 percent increase in plastic recycling since plastic bottles were banned from landfills in October of 2009, but there is still a lot of recyclable material that is being thrown in the trash. According to Watauga County Extension Agent, Wendy Patoprsty, “during this Falls River Clean Up, about 35% of the litter collected was glass and plastic bottles, and aluminum cans.
We throw away a lot of good trash. It’s amazing how usable our trash is, and we want to see the trash get a second life! Cindy Ball of Elkland Art Center says “trash is a really affordable medium to work with and its totally available, everywhere, literally.” It’s fun to start rethinking trash and how to minimize local and global impacts. Judith Winecoff of Watauga Library makes a good point when she said “we’re doing two things at once, cleaning up as we create art. So many times we don’t realize how much trash and litter is out there until we work with it and then we begin to take notice.” According to Marsha Story “recycling has skyrocketed over the last quarter in the Town of Boone, in fact curbside residential recycling was 81% participation over the last quarter!”
Entries can be brought to the Watauga County Library during open hours the month of Oct. Please turn your artwork in to Judith Winecoff. Rules: The art can be no larger that 3ft x 3ft and must be creations that consist of at least 90% reused or recycled materials, nothing in the art can be purchased! There will be two age divisions, youth 16 and under and adults over 17. Awards will be given in each division to the top three and each participant will receive a gift package and certificate. Art must be picked up the first week of November. You will receive your gifts and awards when art is picked up. Please contact Wendy Patoprsty at 264-3061 or email Wendy_Patoprsty@ncsu.edu with any questions.