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Creative Reuse Showcase

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Students in Chittenden County are turning someone else's trash into treasures.

The 18th annual Chittenden County Creative Reuse Showcase gave kids a chance to express themselves through everyday items most people throw away.

Inside Adam's Market in Williston, works of art created by high school students are on display. But what sets these creations apart is where they came from.

"We really push students to use materials that are landfill bound that can't be easily recycled or recycled at all in Chittenden County," said John Powell. He is the school outreach coordinator for the Chittenden Solid Waste District.

The Creative ReUse Showcase encourages students to find creative ways to express themselves, and to draw inspiration from their surroundings.

"A big snow storm just happened so I decided to do a lot of whites," said Ross Herzog from Burlington High School.

For Megan Reilly, a senior at Mt. Mansfield Union High School, winning best in show all began with a few plastic bags.

"The sea turtles confuse them for jellyfish and I thought wouldn't it be fun if I made jellyfish out of the plastic bags to sort of raise awareness," Reilly said.

Students in seven different categories are judged by how well they reuse the items they find.

"It heavily weights the art decision because we look at the art pieces, not from an art perspective, but from a waste perspective," Powell said.

The prize is $100. Money artists say will help them prepare for the future.

And, a few helpful words for future contestants from this year's winners.

"Definitely do it, even if you're afraid and you're not really into art but you want to, just do it," Herzog said.

"Don't be afraid to just open up the junk drawer and rummage through your room looking for stuff because you never know what might inspire you," Reilly said.

As for that jellyfish lamp, Reilly says she is definitely keeping it.

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