3R's Art & Poetry Contest

Winners for the 2024 season are found below!

Our goal is to engage the City of Tampa’s youth in environmental stewardship while conveying a recycling and waste reduction message.  A first-place winner will be selected from each of the following categories: Elementary, Middle, High School, and the MacDonald Training Center. The winning artwork will be displayed on a recycling collection truck for one year. The winning poetry will be on display at Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park alongside the Tampa River Center Building.


Eligibility Requirements

  • Students (grades 3 - 12) enrolled in a school or homeschooled within the City of Tampa limits under Tampa Solid Waste Service. 
  • Clients of the MacDonald Training Center Arts Program.
  • Verify with schools list provided in the Rules & Regulations Packet link below:
  • Click on the button below to read complete rules & regulations. 

For questions, please email Edgar.CastroTello@tampagov.net.

2024 Art Winners

bold painting of fish swimming around trash in water

Gerilynn - MacDonald Training Center

drawing of planet earth battling it out with pollution using the weapons of

Nathan - Roland K-8

Sea turtle with rings around neck and human hand coming in to cut them off while there's other pollution items around in the water

Ivory - Howard W. Blake Senior High School

2024 Poetry Winners

Pick Up Your Trash

by Eli - Roland K - 8

Upon my face, a giant frown

As I see the meter going down

Recycle plastic, paper, so much more

As we pick the trash up of the floor

There’s only so much more to do 

And to do so we’ll need you

So pick up your trash up of the floor 

And the meter will rise so much more

So pick up your trash today 

And if you don’t then you will pay 




Our Home

Ryan - Brooks DeBartolo Collegiate High School

On this floating rock we call our home
Sparkling blue waters wrap around land
A vast pool of mystery
That many of us misunderstand
An underwater paradise lies beneath its sparkling surface
With corals sprouting from the smooth sandy floor
A home to many forms of life, it serves a purpose

On this floating rock we call our home
Vast terrains are lined with trees
A landscape filled with varying colors and hues
The air fresh and pristine
Living things coexist in natural harmony
A place to call home for each
Their habitats are a source of refuge, comfort, homeliness and peace

But humankind had other plans, their eyes set on industrialization
Using anything, and everything they can for their own benefit
An act of selfish exploitation
Destroying these habitats that life on Earth calls home
Robbing them of their safe places

Leaving no room left for them to roam
On this floating rock we call our home
Were blinded by a money-hungry greed
Depleting poor mother nature of everything she has to give

On all her life and her color we feed
We burn forests down to ash
And pollute rivers, lakes, and oceans
Turning crystal blue to murky brown
Leaving Earth utterly broken
We fill its beautiful terrain with our ugly trash and waste
Continuing these actions without even an ounce of distaste
And when it all comes down we’ll be forced to stop and look back
At how we turned our one and only home into a wasteland full of trash

Thankfully it's not too late
To turn back the clock on this grim fate
We can all come together with a mindset anew
With our heads clearly set on what we must do
The future of the Earth is within our grasp
So Reduce, Reuse, Recycle is the name of the task
With plentiful efforts
And selfness implored
This floating rock we call our home
Can be preserved forevermore

Poor Animals

Arielle- MacDonald Training Center

To recycle is to free or being to

Quality to care of a machine that

Protects the body of water

To discover things that been in the water

Like fish, soda can, unwrapped water bottles

You can reuse different things that come off

Like paper or bags or other metal bottle caps or 

That can cut your foot in the water, that can be real deep

In fact, that is a thing done or come to pass us in the water

You have the right responsibility to any object between

To reuse things like water bottles

That coming out of the water and reduce is to restore it

Displaced parts to bring into certain order classification 

To look back on in the reuse/recycling bins 

And don’t throw trash in the recycling and reuse and reduce

Thank you