A team of three Buena High School graduates raced past the competition in the City of Sierra Vista’s #RenewYourBlue Upcycling Contest by earning 272 votes with an extraordinary video entry showing off a blue recycling bin they converted into a working electric-powered vehicle.
The team comprised of Evan Archer, Atkin Hyatt, and Charles Penny graduated from Buena High School in 2018 and spent their summer vacation creating “Trashla,” a recycling bin transformed into a go-kart, using an old skateboard motor Archer had on hand. Divided between attending Arizona State University and University of Arizona, the team hopes to reunite back home to receive their $250 grand prize gift card provided by Ace Hardware sometime in mid to late October. They even have plans to make further improvements to Trashla when they return for Thanksgiving break in November.
“I knew I was never going to win with that go-kart entry… it was a great idea,” Sierra Vista resident Mary Berg said, after earning a second place finish this week. She received a gym membership or piece of personal exercise equipment of up to $150 provided by Rainey Pain & Performance.
Berg credits her Facebook friends for helping give the Buena grads a run for their money. Her entry of an elaborately decorated compost bin garnered 176 votes in the seven-day voting period, which wrapped up Sunday evening. Berg enjoyed the competition and thinks everyone should be thinking of ways to reuse materials at home.
“I think it’s great. We should do that all the time,” Berg said.
Third place finisher and local artist Tiffany Brown agrees, noting that she loves the planet and wants it to be in good shape for her grandkids someday. Finding a new use for old materials is often central to her artwork, so this upcycling contest was a great fit.
“I’m extremely passionate about this … I absolutely love being able to take time, put in elbow grease, and turn it into something that just surprises people,” Brown said.
And her entry showcased that creativity well. Brown transformed her blue bin into a “traveling puppet theater” complete with stage curtains, a backstage entrance, and a beautiful hand-painted night sky, garnering 87 votes. To come up with the idea, she spent some time looking at the blue bin from the perspective of a child.
“I haven’t quite grown up yet entirely,” Brown said. And her son matches that imaginative spirit, taking a large piece of the bin that was removed to create a tactical shield he uses around the house like a SWAT team member. Brown earned two reusable cold beverage tumblers and two $15 gift cards provided by Broxton’s Coffee.
“We’re thrilled to see the extraordinary entries our residents came up with and the community’s awesome engagement with the contest. Hopefully it inspires others to think of ways to reduce what they consume and reuse what materials they can in their daily lives,” City of Sierra Vista Public Information Officer Adam Curtis says. “We want people to continue recycling with us at the City’s drop-off center but changing our behavior as consumers can make an even greater impact on the environment.”
The City received more than a dozen entries, which garnered 714 votes in the seven-day voting period. Other entries demonstrated how bins can be used for rainwater harvesting, gardening, storage, and even for cleaning pool filters.
The online gallery showcasing all the entries can still be viewed through the end of the month at www.SierraVistaAZ.gov/RenewYourBlue. And the winning video entry can also be viewed on YouTube by searching for “#RenewYourBlue.”