2015-2016 "Recycling is Bigger than the Bin" Contest

Now Accepting Entries for the 2015-2016 "Recycling is Bigger Than the Bin" Video & Poster Contest

Calling all artists, filmmakers, and recyclers! Students in grades K–12 are invited to participate in a national recycling awareness contest sponsored by the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) and JASON Learning. The theme of this year’s contest is "Recycling is Bigger than the Bin!"

Most of the recycling we see today happens in the blue bin in your house. We recycle our paper, newspapers, aluminum cans, plastic bottles, and steel food cans by placing them in the blue bin and putting it on the curb once a week. That’s easy!

But what about those things that are “bigger than the bin” -- how are those recycled?

All around us there are items that will not fit into that bin. Everything from bicycles to skyscrapers can potentially be recycled, but not in a blue bin.

Your challenge is to choose an item that is “bigger than the bin” and find a way to recycle it!

Your "bigger than the bin" item must include one or more of the following commodities:

  • steel
  • nonferrous metals
  • paper
  • plastic
  • rubber
  • glass
  • textiles

(Hint: unusual items and items composed of two or more commodities could make your entry more interesting and appealing to our judges!)

Then, create an original video or poster that tells us the story of how you recycled your chosen item. Tell us about your thought process, and show us the steps you took to solve this recycling challenge. Your video or poster should educate and inspire others to think more carefully, and act differently, the next time they need to discard an item that is "bigger than the bin!"

Create something amazing, and you could win our grand prize -- a trip to ISRI's annual convention, which will take place next April in Las Vegas!

The contest is open to all students living in the United States and enrolled in grades K–12 during the 2015–2016 school year. Students can enter the contest as individuals or as a team of up to four individuals. Each individual or team can submit either a video or a poster to the contest. One video and one poster will be selected as a finalist from each of three grade bands: K-4, 5–8, and 9–12. Two overall grand-prize winners will be selected. JASON and ISRI may also acknowledge honorable mentions.

All entries must be submitted by December 18, 2015. Winners will be notified by March 1, 2016.

Media Specifications

Video Specifications
The video must be no more than 2 minutes in length. Use of copyrighted video, music, images, logos, and trademarks is prohibited; entries that contain any copyrighted materials will be disqualified unless written permission to use the materials is acquired and submitted to JASON along with the entry.

Poster Specifications
Each poster entry must be a two-dimensional, original piece of artwork done on white poster board with dimensions of 28 in. x 22 in. (71 cm x 56 cm). Any art medium may be used (e.g., colored pencils, crayons, or paint); however, computer graphics will not be accepted. Artwork must be hand-drawn by the entrant. Pale colors should not be used because they are too difficult to reprint. Also note that artwork must be flat (e.g., no glued pieces) and able to be scanned. Please note that any artwork that includes copyrighted or trademarked product names (e.g., Coca-Cola ®) will be disqualified. You must take a high-resolution (at least 3072 x 2304 pixels) digital photograph of your poster in order to submit your entry. One way to do this is to place your poster on the floor in a well-lit room and use a digital camera to take the picture from above.

Check out some of the winners from last year's Automobile Recycling contest for great examples of high-quality submissions. 

How to Submit Your Entry

Your teacher/facilitator must upload your video file or the digital photo of your poster along with your name, grade, school/after-school program name, school/after-school program address, and teacher/facilitator’s name, phone number, and e-mail address via the link below. All entries must be uploaded by December 18, 2015.

Note that you will also need to complete the Permission Form before submitting your entry. This form must be signed by a parent or guardian, and you will be asked to upload the completed form immediately after you upload your contest entry file. You can scan and upload a PDF of the signed permission form, or you can submit a digital photo of the signed form. If two or more students are collaborating on an entry, each student will need to submit a completed permission form. See below for more details on media specifications, how to submit your entry, judging, and prizes.

Submit your POSTER entry     Submit your VIDEO entry


Entries will be judged by a committee of representatives from the sponsoring organizations. Judges will evaluate each entry on the clarity and accuracy with which it portrays the process and challenges of recycling the chosen item into a reusable form, how well the entry’s message connects to people’s everyday lives, the creativity and originality of the entry, the quality of the entry, and the overall impression of the entry.


Four entries will be selected as finalists. Poster finalists will be required to mail their original artwork upon being notified of their selection as finalists. The finalist videos and posters will be featured on JASON and ISRI websites. All finalists will receive a certificate, a full year of JASON online access for the entrant(s) and their teacher/facilitator, and a t-shirt.

JASON and ISRI may also acknowledge honorable mentions. Honorable mention entrants will receive certificates.

Two grand-prize winning entrants representing the overall best entries will also receive a trip for the entrant and a parent/guardian chaperone to ISRI’s Annual Convention & Exposition to be held in Las Vegas, April 2–7, 2016. 

Trip costs covered include airfare for two (winner plus parent/guardian chaperone) from a major airport, two nights at the ISRI Convention Hotel, and an ISRI Convention pass for one day, including lunch. In cases where a team (more than one individual) is chosen as the grand-prize winner, the team must choose one individual to represent the team at the conference; additional team members and/or chaperones can attend as well if the team raises the necessary funds on their own to cover their additional travel costs.

If you have questions about the contest, please contact contesthelp@jason.org.

Use of Submitted Posters and Videos

JASON Learning and the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) retain the right to use all submitted posters and videos, always making reference to the name of the holder, to project and promote their institutional objectives in any way deemed appropriate in the future (exhibitions, production of commemorative booklets or calendars, creation of CDs, projections on websites, etc.). Participants in this contest explicitly accept this condition and provide JASON and ISRI the right to use their entries. 


About the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries

ISRI is a Washington, DC-based trade association representing more than 1,600 for-profit companies – ranging from small, family-owned businesses to large, multi-national corporations -- operating at more than 3,500 facilities in the United States and 34 countries worldwide. ISRI members are manufacturers and processors, brokers and industrial consumers of scrap commodities, including ferrous and nonferrous metals, paper, electronics, rubber, plastics, glass, and textiles. ISRI's associate members include equipment and service providers to the scrap recycling industry. Manufacturers and sellers of equipment and services—such as shredders, balers, cranes, cargo transporters, computer systems, and more—find value in promoting the scrap recycling industry through their membership in ISRI.

About JASON Learning

JASON Learning is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to inspire and educate kids everywhere through real science and exploration. JASON provides multimedia curricular experiences in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) for K–12 students, and corresponding professional development for educators in a wide variety of formal and informal education environments.