HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — On Thursday, Huntsville’s Green Team hosted an awards ceremony for its plastic cap recycling contest.

The contest is an opportunity for area schools to educate students about the large environmental impact they can make with small actions – like collecting plastic twist-off caps.

After they are collected, the caps are then sold to KW Plastics in Troy, Ala., where they recycle the caps into new plastic paint containers. More than 15,000 pounds of plastic caps were collected from participating schools in Huntsville this year.

“This is now our seventh year,” said Brian Walker, the organization’s landscape director. “We give participating schools an award to along with their check.”

Nearly $16,000 in award money went to 24 participating schools this year.