Taking old cans of formula and turning them into pens holders for a dry erase board is practical. It’s also eco-innovative, says Marissa Segundo, recycling coordinator for the city of Largo
“A foster mom with a number of children had a lot of formula and was trying to find a use for them,” Segundo said.
The formula can pen holders was one of last year’s submissions to Largo’s Recycled Innovations Contest. This year’s contest opened Sept. 1. The deadline for submissions is Oct. 28.
Now in its third year the online contest encourages people to think about innovative ways to use items that would be discarded. It’s giving a new use to something that would otherwise end up in the trash.
“The impact is to try and divert this stuff from getting to the landfill,” Segundo said.
Entries must be made of 75 percent or more of recycled material or material that would otherwise be discarded. The contest is open to anyone in the Tampa Bay area.
Past entries include a kitty litter container that was turned into a sit upon cooler in 2009 by a tween contestant and an old ottoman that was turned into a granite top coffee table in last year’s contest.
This isn’t a recycled art show. The city is looking for recycled innovations of functional items that may be reused in daily activities.
So, how are the winners chosen?
“We let the people decide,” Segundo said.
Starting Nov. 1 the city will post all entry photos on their Largo Recycles website and the public votes for the best. Online voting opens Nov. 1 and ends Nov. 12.
The winners are announced on Nov. 15 for America Recycles Day. People of all ages are encouraged to participate.
“I think a contest like this appeals to many different age groups,” Segundo said.
Winners are chosen in the following categories:
- Macgyver Innovators: adults 18 and over
- Tween Innovator and Techie Teen: ages 12-17
- Junior Innovators: ages 8-12
- Tiny Innovators: under 8 years of age
“I think people are environmentally aware without even realizing it. They are inventive using recycled materials and not think anything of it,” Segundo said, “This is a way for us to recognize them.”
Want to submit a recylced innovation?