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Nathan Bower-Bir
Volunteers in Sustainability

Last modified: Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Second “More Art, Less Trash” competition to increase recycling opportunities on campus

Dec. 10, 2008

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- For the second year in a row, Indiana University's Volunteers in Sustainability (ViS) will be sponsoring an outdoor recycling bin design competition for the Bloomington campus.

ViS is a program of the IU Task Force on Campus Sustainability, and seeks to engage students in campus and community sustainability projects. In the spring of 2008, 10 large recycling bins were designed and decorated by IU Bloomington students and placed at strategic locations across campus, successfully diverting a great amount of material from the waste stream over their nine months of use.

Because these bins continue to fill up weekly, ViS has decided to expand and revitalize the program. During the upcoming spring semester, the original bins will be repainted and augmented by new bins across campus, increasing outdoor recycling opportunities at IU.

Through the contest, ViS hopes both to brighten the IU Bloomington community with original student artwork and to further a larger initiative to create a permanent outdoor recycling system on campus.

"IU has been making significant progress toward becoming a more sustainable place, but there's still a long way to go," said Nathan Bower-Bir, coordinator of ViS. "The recycling bin design contest is a great way to engage the student body in these efforts. It effectively increases visibility of the work that's going on, as well as highlights where IU falls short. We hope these eye-catching bins will lead to the placement of permanent recycling bins across campus."

All students are encouraged to submit colorful, attention-grabbing designs, similar to the popular 'Art Cows' project in Chicago. Designs may be submitted by individuals or groups, but artists must be current IU students. Anyone with an idea is encouraged to participate.

Ten designs will be chosen by a panel of judges. The winning artists will paint their designs on 55-gallon plastic recycling bins to be installed in various outdoor locations, providing a convenient opportunity to recycle plastic, glass and aluminum.

ViS, in coordination with the Task Force on Campus Sustainability, the School of Fine Arts, the Residence Halls Association, the University Architect's Office and the Department of Physical Plant, Division of Building Services, are supporting this recycling project.

The deadline for submissions is Saturday, Jan. 31, 2009, with hopes of having the finished bins available for use by the middle of February. The winning designer will receive a $100 cash prize; second and third place prizes of $50 and $25, respectively, will also be awarded.

Entry forms are available in FA 124 or online at For more information, e-mail