There's some money to be made for local students with a flair for turning trash into art. Dozens are showing their prowess while lending a youthful voice to the importance of environmental stewardship at the annual Pasco Art of Recycling Contest.
It has been a banner year, with 142 entries submitted by students from nine local high schools, said Tony Bartenope, the Pasco school district's new recycling coordinator. Those students will compete for more than $2,000 in prize money in 15 categories. Winners will be named at a ceremony Thursday at the West Pasco Government Center in New Port Richey, where the exhibit is on display. A March showing is scheduled at the District School Board offices in Land O'Lakes.
Among this year's entrees: a shoe constructed from of old cellphone parts by Zephyrhills High student Mariah Viera; a shoulder bag made out of candy wrappers and khaki pants by Kelly Hill from Bishop McLaughlin Catholic High; a colorful 3-D painting called Acid Rain crafted out of crayons by Ridgewood High's Abigail Degrandchamp; and a couple of newspaper baskets made by Jada Roberts and J'Quan Roberts from Pasco High.
There are plenty more inspiring works showing what creative things can be done with a bunch of old soda cans, batteries, newspapers, bottle caps and other reusable junk.
Check it out.