Ready for Your Close-Up?

EIA scholarship contest seeks films highlighting waste industry's greener side.

As part of the ongoing “Environmentalists. Every Day.” public education program, the Environmental Industry Associations (EIA) have launched a new scholarship program for college students with an interest in creating short films and animation. EIA includes the National Solid Wastes Management Association (NSWMA) and the Waste Equipment Technology Association (WASTEC).

EIA is offering college students the chance to win up to $3,000 in scholarships by creating and uploading to YouTube a live-action or animated short film that demonstrates the everyday, practical ways garbage men and women help keep communities healthy and clean, protect the environment, and conserve resources in their communities. The contest is open to solid waste industry employees and their children.

With this contest, EIA joins some of America’s best-known companies that have hosted similar efforts. Thousands of people regularly participate, uploading countless educational and promotional videos to YouTube. As you may be aware, YouTube is one of the most popular websites in the world. The site currently attracts more than 2 billion hits a day, and approximately 24 hours of video are uploaded to the site every minute.

To be eligible for consideration, participants must upload a video of five minutes or shorter by midnight on Oct. 24. For detailed information about eligibility, contest rules and directions for uploading videos, visit the contest webpage at There you’ll also find lists of suggested themes, one or more of which must be incorporated into your video. These themes highlight how America’s solid waste industry:

  • provides essential services that help maintain the fabric of local communities across the country by protecting the environment and public health;
  • leads through generating renewable energy from solid waste;
  • leads through recycling and composting;
  • uses science to maintain and improve quality of life for everyone; and
  • makes vital contributions to local communities economically and socially, as well as environmentally.

A panel of judges, including solid waste company officials and environ-mental leaders, will select the finalists. They will be looking for creativity and adherence to one or more of the listed themes and contest rules. The public will then be invited to vote on the con-test website for their favorite video from this group of finalists. Winners will be announced in early December. The creator of the video that receives the most votes from the public will receive a $3,000 cash scholarship. The second and third place winners will receive $2,000 and $1,000 cash scholarships, respectively.

“We look forward to the creativity and thoughtfulness that students will demonstrate with their videos,” said Bruce J. Parker, EIA president and CEO. “Whether serious or humorous in tone, it will be exciting to observe how they view the role of solid waste management in their communities.”

Parker continued, “Today’s solid waste industry now has a leadership role in responding to the most pressing environmental concerns of the day, such as developing new sources of clean, renewable energy, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and conserving natural resources. I’m proud of the industry that my staff and I represent. We call its employees ‘Environmentalists. Every Day.’ because their core responsibility is protecting public health and the environment every day. I am hopeful that participating students will increase public awareness about the progressive and creative contributions that the solid waste industry brings while addressing today’s and future environmental challenges.”

For more information about the “Environmentalists. Every Day.” program, visit

Thomas Metzger is director of communications and public affairs for the National Solid Wastes Management Association. Reach him at (202) 364-3751.