21 Huntsville Schools Honored For Recycling Efforts

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The schools that collected plastic bottle caps earned these unique trophies. The black bases are plastic paint cans made from plastic bottle caps. (Photo: Tim Hanson, WHNT News 19)

The City of Huntsville’s Operation Green Team honored 21 schools on Wednesday morning for recycling efforts in recent months.  Five schools received prizes for recycling phone books and 16 schools won awards for recycling plastic bottle caps.

Weatherly Heights Elementary won the grand prize, $1,000, for recycling the most phone books.  The school turned in 2,483 books.  Ridgecrest Elementary came in second, collecting 1,851 phone books and winning $750 from AT&T.  Calvary Baptist Academy, Mountain Gap Elementary and Challenger Elementary rounded out the top five, respectively.  Calvary earned $500 in prize money and Mountain Gap and Challenger each earned $250 in prize money.

“The kids just get so excited about it, and thanks to the spnsors, we’ve been able to give prize money to the schools,” said Joy McKee, Huntsville’s Director of Landscape Management.  “They really need that right now, so it’s a win-win for everybody. Children are learning about what they’re supposed to do, about recycling, and why it’s important, and then they get something for it.”

University Place Elementary won the plastic cap recycling contest, collecting 320,129 caps.  The school earned a $1,000 prize from Allied Waste and Boeing.  In all, Huntsville schools collected 1,597,016 bottle caps.  The bottle caps were taken to KW Plastics in Troy, Alabama, which used them to make plastic paint buckets.

“It all builds up to big things,” said Dr. Casey Wardynski, Huntsville’s Superintendent of Education.  “One bottle cap at a time, and pretty soon you’ve got a million bottle caps. and pretty soon, your school has something great coming, because someone handed you a check.  Your community’s better, because those bottle caps didn’t end up in the creeks and rivers.”

Here is a list of all the participants in the plastic bottle cap contest:

  1. University Place Elementary – WINNER – 320,129 caps collected
  2. Rolling Hills Elementary – 273,920 caps collected
  3. Mountain Gap Elementary – 183,914 caps collected
  4. AAA – 166,729 caps collected
  5. Montview Elementary – 143,083 caps collected
  6. Williams Elementary – 122,037 caps collected
  7. Randolph School – 66,034 caps collected
  8. Chapman Middle School – 64,355 caps collected
  9. Highlands Elementary – 55,700 caps collected
  10. ASFL – 51,206 caps collected
  11. Monte Sano Elementary – 37,047 caps collected
  12. Ed White Middle – 36,777 caps collected
  13. Chapman Elementary – 27,738 caps collected
  14. Lakewood Elementary – 25,041 caps collected
  15. Hampton Cove Elementary – 14,945 caps collected
  16. Whitesburg Middle – 8,361 caps collected

This is the second year Operation Green Team has done the phone book and plastic bottle cap recycling contest in Huntsville schools.  They hope to get even more participation next year.