By UW Recycling | Feb 11, 2024
text reads: UW Recycling 2024 Trash Art Contest on a purple background with the University of Washington logo

UW Recycling is now accepting entries for the 2024 Trash Art Contest! Participants must create an art piece from items normally thought of as waste or a literary piece about waste.

Categories include:

  • 2D art
  • 3D art
  • Textile art
  • Literature

Art pieces should express feelings or ideas about waste, or a sustainability topic that relates to waste. This contest is open to all UW students, faculty and staff.

Submissions are due March 22, 2024 at 4 p.m. PST. Winners for each category will receive $100 or $50 gift cards to a low waste store.

Submission form

The contest receives creative and impressive art every year. Check out the 2023 Flickr album to view all of last year’s submissions.

Contest Rules & Guidelines

How to Submit
Participants must fill out the submission form by Friday March 22, 2024 at 4:00 p.m. PST. Submission must include: artist name, medium, piece name, and a description of the art piece.

Contest Rules
Submissions that do not meet these requirements will not be considered.

  • Artist(s) must be a current UW student, faculty or staff member.
  • The art piece can be an individual or group project. Each participant may only submit one art project, whether it is a group project or individual submission.
  • The art piece may be submitted under one of the following categories:
    • Literature (essay, poetry, drama, story or other written work)
    • 2D (pieces that may be hung from a wall like painting, photography, or collage)
    • 3D (sculpture, model or other pieces that stand upright)
    • Textile (art created predominantly from textile and fiber art techniques – like sewing, weaving, embroidery, knitting, crocheting, quilting, etc.)
  • Textiles, 2D and 3D art pieces must be composed of recycled, salvaged or collected litter materials, or express sentiments on the subject matter.
  • Literature pieces should relate to waste or a broader sustainability topic.
  • 2D, 3D and Textile submissions must be created from individual’s personal waste. Material purchased with University funds, regardless of condition, cannot be used for this contest. Please do not take material from campus waste bins.
  • All projects should be safe to handle and display (no hazards, etc.). Submissions must adhere to the UW Libraries Exhibits Policy and the Safety & Display Expectations of Odegaard Undergraduate Library Exhibit Space.
  • The art piece may not be a piece previously submitted to the UW Recycling Trash Art Contest. 

Judging Criteria
A first and second place winner will be chosen for each category. Each category will be scored based on the following criteria:

  • Originality/creativity
  • Interpretation and clarity of waste/sustainability theme 
  • Material usage (excluding literature)
  • Relevance to personal and/or the UW campus waste

Each winning entry will receive one e-gift card of their choosing to one of the following locations. 1st place winners for each category will receive a $100 e-gift card and 2nd place winners will receive a $50 dollar e-gift card. 

Winning pieces will be displayed in an exhibit at Odegaard Undergraduate Library during the month of April. 

All contest submissions will have their art piece, artist bio, and piece description highlighted on UW Sustainability’s In Our Nature blog, as well as UW Recycling’s Instagram. Art submissions, artwork description and artist’s name may also be highlighted on other University of Washington platforms.

Download Rules & Guidelines

Watch UW Recycling's social media for updates

The contest is part of Campus Race to Zero Waste. Follow @UWRecycling on Instagram to get updates on this year's activities and win prizes!