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Central Trail, Maplewood students win design contest for recycling pickup trucks


Two student designs were chosen for the first Sylvania 'Design a Truck' contest. The unveiling was at Central Trail Elementary.

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Republic Services unveiled a recycling truck on Tuesday that displays two Sylvania students’ artful messages that encourages recycling, reusing, and reducing waste.

PHOTO GALLERY: Design a Truck Contest

Charlie Abowd, a fourth grader at Central Trail Elementary School, and Xandria Browning, a fifth grader at Maplewood Elementary School, were congratulated by the school district, city officials, and officials of Republic Services for winning the Design A Truck contest, hosted by Republic Services, Sylvania Community Arts Commission, and Sylvania schools.

The unveiling ceremony took place at Central Trail. One side of the truck has one design, the other side has the other side.

Charlie, 9, won first place, and Xandria, 11, second. The two created artwork that colorfully promoted the act of recycling. Their submissions were chosen from about 1,500 hand-drawn signs created by students in third to fifth grade during the spring as an Earth Day activity.

“I wanted to draw something, win an iPad and something for my family,” Charlie said about the inspiration for his design that includes a rainbow and “We Love Sylvania.” “I was surprised. I did not know until today my design was chosen.”

Each winner received a free family membership to the Toledo Zoo, an iPad, and their classmates are invited to Republic Services landfill to learn how the company processes waste and keeps the area “green,” said Paul Rasmusson, sales manager for Republic Services, which will use the design-wrapped trucks to collect the City of Sylvania’s recyclable items.

Xandria put her personal touch on her artwork, incorporating colors and things she enjoys in life.

“I always loved bright colors and flowers. Since it’s about saving the environment I thought it should incorporate ideas that are inspirational to me,” she said.

“Our conference room was a rainbow of colors,” Mr. Rasmusson said. Employees were invited to the room to review and vote on each project. “We planned on choosing one winner, but the results were overwhelming so we couldn’t help but choose two.”

Sylvania Councilman Mike Brown, the city’s Utilities and Environment Committee chairman, said it’s important to teach children at a young age about the benefits of recycling. He said when the city’s recycling program began 20 years ago, and collected a couple of pounds of items per household. Now, Republic Services collect about 13 pounds per household.

Contact Natalie Trusso Cafarello at: 419-206-0356, or, or on Twitter @natalietrusso.

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