ReUse Industries Launches Creative Competition With Cash Prizes

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Reuse Industries, an Athens-based non-profit organization, recently launched a ReUse Competition in partnership with Ohio University’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs. 

The competition offers $3,000 in cash prizes for the best artistic and functional products created from recycled or re-used materials. Open to youth and adult residents throughout Appalachian Ohio, the competition will conclude with an awards ceremony and exhibition at an Earth Day reception hosted by Ohio University’s Office of Sustainability on April 22.

"By supporting and celebrating our region’s creative people, the competition is just one way to further our mission of turning waste into wealth for local communities," said ReUse Executive Director Zachary Holl, who notes that ReUse Industries turned over 11 million pounds of discarded materials into local jobs and almost $5 million in local economic activity since 1994.

Lauren McCullough, a ReUse Board member and a graduate student at the Voinovich School, played a lead role in developing the competition based on models throughout the United States.

The competition, says McCullough, "highlights the vital role of creative talent in producing a zero waste community and economy. It’s a great opportunity to engage area residents, including my fellow students in art, design, environmental science, engineering, and product development fields."

"We all like throwing together the odd piece of yard art, or something useable from something used up," said Faith Knutsen, ReUse Board Secretary and Associate Director of Operations at the Voinovich School’s TechGROWTH Ohio. "It’s our native talent, we’re proud of it, and now there’s a chance to show it off and maybe win a little extra cash too!"

The competition is sponsored by the Athens Foundation, the Sugar Bush Foundation, Rural Action and the Appalachian Ohio Zero Waste Initiative. 

Those interested in entering the competition must submit an “Intent to Enter” form by March 14, with competition submissions due by April 1. 

The intent-to-enter form and more details can be found at