Artistic Recycling Stations


When you walk along the Potomac River, you see the glistening water and beautiful trees … and trash. The Potomac River is one of the best things about Alexandria. The Potomac River is not only a source of revenue for the city, but also a place where people ride their bikes, go for runs, and meet others. If the Potomac River is so important, why do we let people pollute it with trash? Last year, my mom, an art teacher at Maury Elementary, created a life-sized whale mobile out of trash from the Potomac River. When my family and I were picking up trash for the whale, I noticed that most of the trash was recyclable like plastic and glass bottles. Another unique characteristic of Alexandria, one that we should celebrate, is that it is the home to many artists. Visual art is an important component of Alexandria and can do many things: it can draw people in, it can set a mood in any place or area, and it can bring groups of people together. If we had artistic recycling cans set out along the Potomac River, we could cut down at least half of the trash that gets thrown into the river every year and do all of the things visual art can do. I propose that we set up artistic recycling stations along the Potomac River so that we can make the Potomac River’s banks unique and make it more convenient to put recyclables in recycling bins than throw them in the water. Each station would consist of 3 things: a sign showing what can be recycled, a plastic bag dispenser equipped with biodegradable plastic bags for picking up recyclables, and a recycling bin. Then, to turn the stations into visual art, we would commission individuals and groups of local artists to create and paint a sculpture shell within certain dimension for the recycling bins. I would also plan to set aside one recycling station for every Alexandria elementary school to turn into a work of public art. If we set up these recycling stations, we would not only cut down the trash that gets thrown into the Potomac River, we would also make Alexandria’s waterfront special.


Take it one step further

use the recycleables within youth art programs or any art program. The stations should be created using the recycled material -  - expand upon the whale mobile idea!


I saw your mom's was fantastic! great idea, Ana!

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