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New York Recycles! Poster Contest Rules

Rules for the 2021 Contest

photo of 2009 poster contest winnersWe are once again inviting all kindergarten through 12th grade students in New York State public and private schools and youth organizations to showcase their artistic talent and their commitment to the environment by participating in the 19th Annual New York Recycles! Poster Contest sponsored by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC). This poster contest helps us to achieve our goal of higher excellence in waste reduction, recycling, composting, and buying recycled products and packaging. The New York State winners receive the honor of having their artwork on public display at the NYSDEC headquarters at 625 Broadway in Albany, a framed copy of their winning poster, and other prizes.

We hope your school district or organization will participate in this worthwhile event and we look forward to working with you! Please read the poster requirements and judging criteria carefully. Only posters that meet the poster requirements and judging criteria will be considered.

Eligibility

All students in New York State public and private schools and youth organizations are welcome to participate. If a student's school or classroom is not participating, a student may still submit an individual entry.

2021 Themes

Participants should use our theme description webpage to help guide their posters.

  • New York Recycles!
  • Reduce Your Single Use
  • Composting is a Heap of Fun!
  • Let's Put Litter in its Place!

Students are encouraged to share their views on these themes. For more information and ideas for your poster, check out our website on waste reduction, reuse, recycling, composting and buying recycled products and packaging and our website on theme ideas for the poster contest. If you need help brainstorming, these are great resources!

Poster Requirements

Deadline:

Posters must be received no later than May 21, 2021. Please note that all artwork submitted becomes the property of the NYSDEC, is retained and may be reproduced. Posters will not be returned.

Poster content:

  • All posters should be reflective of the contest themes listed above.
  • Posters created by students must be their own original artwork. Copyrighted characters (such as Superman) or copyrighted clip art will not be accepted.
  • Posters must be clearly legible.

Materials:

  • Any variety of media may be used (watercolor, pen and ink, crayon, chalk, markers, etc.) but bright colors are best.
  • Students are encouraged to incorporate recycled or recyclable materials into their creations. Note: If students are incorporating recyclables into their artwork, depth is restricted to half an inch.

Size & Layout:

image of proper layout

Minimum: 8½" x 11"
Maximum: 18" x 24"
Landscape Layout only!!

Poster Submission:

Each poster must have the Release Form (PDF) (19 KB) securely fastened to the back of the poster. A poster not accompanied by a completed Release Form will not be eligible for further judging. The posters, with Release Forms included must be received by May 21, 2021 to:

NYSDEC
Attn: NY Recycles! Poster Contest
625 Broadway
Albany, NY 12233-7253

Electronic Submission Instructions:

Posters are preferred to be received by mail but posters can also be submitted electronically.
Posters along with completed Release Forms can be submitted electronically to recycling@dec.ny.gov; please note in the subject line "2021 New York Recycles Poster Contest."

The following high-quality digital file formats will be accepted: JPEG, PNG, PDF. Resolution should be 300 dpi. Please hold on to your original poster until June 11th in case your poster is selected and we find we need you to re-submit a higher-quality version. If you have any questions about suitable formats, please contact us at recycling@dec.ny.gov.

Judging Criteria

  1. The poster meets the poster requirements section listed above.
  2. The poster message is clearly conveyed by the text and artwork.
  3. The poster shows creativity, originality and artistic quality.
  4. The poster shows visual clarity and can be easily read.
  5. The Release Form is completed and attached to the back of the poster or included with electronic submissions.

Judging Procedure

Usually we limit each participating school/youth group to submit up to fifteen (15) posters. However, with some schools continuing with remote learning, students with parental permission may submit posters on their own. For 2021, there will not be a limit on the number of posters accepted from each school or youth organization. However, only one poster from each student can be accepted for the contest.

For state judging, the posters will be grouped in one of the following five categories:

  • Kindergarten through 3rd Grade;
  • 4th through 6th Grade;
  • 7th through 9th Grade;
  • 10th through 12th Grade; and
  • Special Education

The three (3) best posters in each grade category will be judged based on the poster requirements section listed above and judging criteria section listed above. First, second and third place will be awarded in each grade category.

Awards:

State Winners

The first, second and third place winners in each grade category will receive a framed copy of their winning artwork and other prizes. Posters from the final State judging will be placed on public display at the NYSDEC's Albany headquarters.

Please Remember:

  • Entries must meet the poster requirements specified above, and must have the Release Form (PDF) (19 KB) securely fastened to the back of the poster.
  • All artwork submitted becomes the property of the NYSDEC, and may be reproduced. Posters will not be returned.

Important Dates For The Contest Are

No later than May 21, 2021
- Posters are mailed and received to the address above for state judging.

Week of June 1, 2021
- NYSDEC conducts State judging.

No later than June 9, 2021
- NYSDEC notifies winners through their school or youth organization, and gives further instruction as to student recognition.

June 11, 2021 for electronic submissions
- Hold on to the original poster for any electronic submissions, in case your poster is selected and we find we need you to re-submit a higer-quality version.

If you have any questions on this poster contest please call NYSDEC at (518) 402-8706.


More about New York Recycles! Poster Contest Rules: