The City’s Solid Waste Division is challenging kids in the Rapid City community to take the Plastic Free July challenge.

As part of the challenge, kids are invited to participate in a coloring contest hosted by the City’s Solid Waste Division. The community’s youth are also invited to take an active part in reducing single-use plastic during the month of July. The theme of the challenge is ‘Choose to Refuse Single-Use Plastic’.

The coloring contest is for kids in grades kindergarten through eighth grade with a submission deadline of July 14.  The public will be able to vote for their favorite selections beginning July 15 by visiting the City’s Solid Waste Facebook page.

Submissions will be divided into two separate judging divisions, kindergarten through fifth grade, and sixth through eighth grades.  Winners will get their artwork displayed on digital billboards in Rapid City for two weeks. There will be one winner from each age group.  The post with the most likes will be the winner.  The voting post will go up on July 15.

Additional details about the coloring contest can be found at .

“July is Plastic Free July, a global initiative to help make communities greener,” said City Solid Waste Education and Outreach Coordinator Ria Hannon.  “The initiative focuses on reducing the amount of single use plastic that we use.”

Hannon says examples of single use plastic includes water bottles, straws and plastic utensils.  More information on Plastic Free July can be found at .

“It should be a fun project and a great way for kids to draw a picture of how they are going to celebrate Plastic Free July,” said Hannon.  “There are many things kids can do, as well as their parents and all of us in the community can do in committing to reduce single-use plastics.”

According to Hannon, those efforts include switching plastic water bottles for refillable bottles, skipping straws, refuse disposable cups and working with friends to reduce or avoid use of single-use plastics whenever possible.

Parents can email their child’s drawings to Hannon .