New York Recycles! Poster Contest

Rules for the 2024 Contest

The NYS Association of Reduction, Reuse and Recycling (NYSAR3) will be sponsoring the New York Recycles! Poster contest again in 2024.  The contest was previously sponsored by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC). This poster contest helps New York 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 featured in the 2025 New York Recycles! calendar, a framed copy of their winning poster, and other prizes.

We hope your student, 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.


All students in kindergarten through 12th grade in New York State public and private schools, youth organizations or home schooled are welcome to participate. If a student's school or classroom is not participating, a student may still submit an individual entry.

2024 Themes

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

  • Climate Change Affects Us All
  • The First R - Reduction! - Reduce to improve your environment

Students are encouraged to share their views on these themes. For more information and ideas for your poster, check out our theme description webpage. If you need help brainstorming, this is a great resource! 

Poster Requirements


Posters must be received no later than June 5, 2024. Please note that all artwork submitted becomes the property of NYSAR3, is retained and may be reproduced and/or displayed throughout NYS.

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.


  • Any variety of media may be used (watercolor, pen and ink, crayon, chalk, markers, etc.). 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:

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

Poster Submission:

Each poster must have the Release Form (PDF) included with poster submission. A poster not accompanied by a completed Release Form will not be eligible for further judging. The posters and Release Forms must be received by June 5, 2024.  

Electronic Submission Instructions:

All posters must be submitted electronically.
Posters along with completed Release Forms must be submitted to; please note in the subject line "2024 New York Recycles Poster Contest."

A high-quality digital JPEG file format is preferred, but high quality PNG and PDF format will also be accepted. Resolution should be 300 dpi. Please hold on to your original poster until June 30th 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

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. Preference will be given to posters that follow the theme.
  6. The Release Form is completed and included with electronic submissions.

Judging Procedure

There is no 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

Awards will be based on the number of poster submissions received in each category. Each grade
category will be judged based on the poster requirements section listed above and judging criteria
section listed above.



Winners in each grade category will receive a framed copy of their winning artwork and other prizes. Posters from the final judging will be featured in the 2025 New York Recycles! calendar and may be displayed across NYS.

Winners and two family members are invited to the NYSAR3 Annual Conference and Trade Show  in Cooperstown, NY and given a chance to present their artwork and what it means to them, if they choose. Their posters will be
displayed during the Annual Awards Luncheon.

Winning posters will be featured on the NYSARhomepage throughout the year.

Please Remember:

  • Entries must meet the poster requirements specified above and must have the Release Form (PDF)(19 KB) included with submission.
  • All artwork submitted becomes the property of the NYSAR3 and may be reproduced.

Important Dates For The Contest Are

No later than June 5, 2024
- Posters must be received by email for judging.

June 6 - 11, 2024
- NYSAR3 conducts judging.

No later than June 14, 2024
- NYSAR3 notifies winners through their school or youth organization, and gives further instruction as to student recognition.

June 30, 2024
- Hold on to the original poster in case your poster is selected and we find we need you to re-submit a higher-quality version.

If you have any questions on this poster contest please email


Past Winners


2024 Calendar Cover

The winners for the 2024 Calendar are:

Grades K-3 

Adarsh Rao - Success Academy Hell’s Kitchen, New York, NY

Emily Rosenblat - Glenmont Elementary School, Glenmont, NY

Derek Pankratz - Oquenock Elementary School, West Islip, NY

Grades 4-6

Shruthi Rao - Success Academy Hell’s Kitchen, New York, NY

Paityn Walburn - Broadway Elementary School, Elmira, NY

Savannah Werkheiser - Broadway Elementary School, Elmira, NY

Grades 7-9

Dhruthi Rao - Success Academy Midtown West Middle School, New York, NY

Belinda Chen -  Fort Hamilton High School, Brooklyn, NY

Meghan Farrell -  Auburn Junior High School, Auburn, NY

Grades 10-12

Wyatt Samuels - Victor Senior High School, Victor, NY

Jaycee Birkemeier - Victor Senior High School, Victor, NY

Gabriella West - Victor High School, Victor, NY

Lucas Soto - Leonardo Da Vinci High School, Buffalo, NY

Honorable Mentions

Braelyn Barr - Oquenock Elementary School, West Islip, NY

Melanie Peña - Lawrence Middle School, Lawrence, NY

Dylan Delia - Glenmont Elementary School, Glenmont, NY

Michelle Lin - Fort Hamilton High School, Brooklyn, NY

2023 Calendar Cover

The 2023 winners are:

Grades K-3

Derek Pankratz,  Oquenock Elementary School

Easton Fenster,  Love of Learning Montessori

Iris Hefferman,  Arongen Elementary School

Braelyn Barr,  Oquenock Elementary School

Grades 4-6

Ella Fores,  Ichabod Crane Central School

Tessa Cherry-Woode,  All Saints Catholic Academy

Samantha Jimenez,  Woodhull Intermediate

Francesca D'Eloia,  Woodhull Intermediate

Grades 10-12

Kathryn Arbegast,  Rush Henrietta SHS

Emma Werkmeister,  Victor High School

Allison Lettman,  Victor High School

Andy Mugisha,  Union Springs Academy

Honorable Mentions

Luna Pankratz,  Oquenock Elementary School

Simone Bazile,  Woodhull Intermediate

Ericka Bauer,  Union Springs Academy

Katelyn Merle,  Fairport High School

Annick Igihozo,  Union Springs Academy