Posted Wednesday, March 30th, 2016


The State Department of Environmental Protection is seeking young writers in grades 4 through 6 to contribute poems focusing on their thoughts about recycling across our state, including in Morris County.

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The winning poets will be invited to participate in an awards ceremony later this year. Entries must be postmarked no later than June 3, 2016.

“It is important to get our young people involved in recycling, to instill them at a young age with the understanding of how recycling benefits the environment, allows reuse of materials and improves the quality of life in our county,’’ said Morris County Freeholder Director Kathy DeFillippo.  

Recycling is the law in New Jersey, and while the program enjoys a certain amount of popularity, the recycling rate has remained virtually stationary over the last several years, according to the DEP.

Additionally, state and county recycling officials often hear from residents and students who report many of New Jersey’s schools, including some in Morris County, don’t emphasize recycling.

recycling 3Therefore, to promote recycling in our schools, this contest will encourage as many young students as possible to think about the benefits of recycling by entering the poetry contest.

The contest is open to all students in grades four through six. Schools must select no more than three (3) poems from each eligible grade level to submit to the DEP’s Bureau of Energy and Sustainability for entry into the contest. A review committee will select the 12 winning poems.

Students are asked to submit a poem of 100 words or less explaining why they believe recycling is important, why all students and schools should participate in their local recycling programs, and how best to improve New Jersey’s recycling rate.

DEPIn reviewing entries, the judges will look for understanding of theme, originality, ability to convey a concept, and creative thinking and writing. Winners will be invited to participate in an awards ceremony later this year, and will receive prizes made of recycled material.

Morris County students have been successful in previous DEP recycling poetry contests. In 2015, Morris County had four winners, more than any other New Jersey county. Winners were Saanvi Vavilala,  Mt. Tabor Elementary School and Gavin Jusino, Littleton Elementary School, both in Parsippany; Julia Bachman, Mountview Road School in Hanover Township; and Katrina Kloza, Rockaway Valley School in Boonton Township.

The DEP’s Bureau of Energy and Sustainability is sponsoring this contest as part of its ongoing recycling public awareness and education effort. If you have questions concerning this contest or program, contact Vicki Kerekes, Contest Coordinator, at 609-984-6906 or by e-mail at [email protected]