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October 6, 2021

Authority Sponsoring Two Recycling Challenges This Fall!

The Oneida-Herkimer Solid Waste Authority (Authority) has two Fall recycling challenges for youth in Oneida and Herkimer Counties to participate in. These challenges help to encourage creativity with waste reduction, reuse and recycling. The Authority will be hosting:

  • Green Halloween Recycled Costume Contest (Due November 2, 2021)
  • America Recycles Day Poster Contest (Due November 10, 2021)

Green Halloween Recycled Costume Competition:

In celebration of Halloween 2021, the Authority is sponsoring a virtual Green Halloween Costume Competition to promote creative reuse and waste reduction. “Over 35 million Halloween costumes are purchased every year in the United States, with many of them being thrown away after just one use. That adds up to a lot of waste,” said Samantha Brown, Authority Recycling Coordinator.

Any resident of Oneida or Herkimer County, between the ages of 0-18, can submit a photograph of themselves in a home-made upcycled/recycled Halloween costume made of common household items. Materials for the costume can include paper, cardboard, plastic bottles, plastic bags, cups, aluminum foil… anything that will help bring your costume to life!

Costumes will be judged based on creativity, use of recycled/upcycled items in the costume, originality and quality. Costumes that are purchased instead of hand-made will not be considered.

The first place winner will receive a $250 Amazon gift card. The second place winner will receive a $100 Amazon gift card. Winners will be featured on the Authority’s social media pages and website.

Parents & teachers: please submit a picture of the entrant in their creatively hand-made recycled/upcycled costume by emailing or by sending a direct message to the Authority’s Facebook page (@AmIRecyclable). Submissions must be received no later than November 2, 2021. Please include the entrants first name, City/Town/Village the entrant lives in, and age. Winners will be notified on November 5, 2021.

America Recycles Day Poster Contest:

America Recycles Day, November 15, 2021, is a day to recognize the importance and the impact that recycling has on preserving our environment as well as conserving energy and natural resources. To celebrate America Recycles Day, the Authority is sponsoring a Poster Contest to encourage youth to be creative about ways to reduce, reuse and recycle on a daily basis. This year’s poster themes are: proper curbside recycling, food waste reduction and the importance of reuse.

Curbside Recycling – Potential ideas for this poster theme include: showing what items can (or cannot) go into curbside recycling bins, how to prepare recyclables before placing them in the bin, recyclables being collected by a recycling truck or what curbside recyclables might get turned into later on.

Food Waste Reduction – Potential ideas for this poster theme include: Sharing or donating food to people or animals, putting food waste into a compost pile instead of the garbage, delivering food waste to the Authority where it will be made into electricity through the Food2Energy program, or taking care to store food properly so it stays fresh for as long as possible.

Reuse – Potential ideas for this poster theme include: Using a reusable water bottle, lunch pail, grocery store bag or straw instead of a disposable version, donating clothes that no longer fit to someone that can wear them or up-cycling your recyclables into something useful – such as making a plastic milk jug into a birdfeeder.

Students can enter in one of three categories: Grammar (K-6), Junior High (7-9) and High School (10-12). First place winners in each category will receive a $250 Amazon gift card. Second place winners in each category will receive a $100 Amazon gift card. Third place winners in each category will receive a $50 Amazon gift card.

Winning Posters will be professionally printed and displayed at various locations throughout the region to educate the community. Additionally, the Authority will utilize the posters in its public education program.

Please visit the Authority’s website at to view the America Recycles Day Poster Contest guidelines.  Posters must be received by November 10, 2021. Winners will be notified on November 15, 2021.

“As the Holiday season quickly approaches, the Authority wants to encourage youth in Oneida and Herkimer Counties to be mindful about waste reduction, reuse and recycling – and get creative in the process! Because the submissions will all either be done online or through the mail – you can participate in these challenges from home. Please share these contests with your friends and family – the Authority looks forward to seeing what our community comes up with,” says Brown.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Samantha Brown at (315) 733-1224 ext. 2800, or by email at

Click Here For Poster Contest Guidelines and Release Form