HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - More than eight million plastic bottle caps will be kept out of landfills this year thanks to some competition-loving students and teachers. Forty-one schools throughout Huntsville collected and recycled a record 8.6 million caps between October and March of this school year in the annual Operation Green Team Plastic Cap Collecting Competition.
This year's total is a 71 percent increase from last year in a competition that partners the city's Operation Green Team and the area's schools.
"I think a lot of it is the passion with the children, not only to want to win, but to want to recycle," said Operation Green Team Director Joy McKee.
Representatives from many of the schools were on hand Friday to collect trophies and more than $22,000 dollars in cash prizes. For the fifth straight year, University Place Elementary School took home top honors collecting nearly two million caps.
The team's long-time leader and teacher, Dolly Jackson, shared her secrets to the school's success.
"Working hard. Getting tops off the street, visiting different facilities to get tops and I guess I've received tops from every state in the union except Hawaii."
KW Plastics, located in Troy, Alabama, recycles the collected caps and turns them into plastic paint cans.
Ultimately, though, McKee said the program teaches students to help plan for the future by caring for the planet in the present.
"The benefits go on and on for years to come because they're going to become recyclers in their everyday walks throughout their lifetime."
Here are the results from this school year's competition:
Plastic Cap Contest Totals 2014-2015 8,642,691
- University Place 1,929,329
- AAA PTA 537,534
- JE Williams Elem PTA 442,179
- Chapman P-8 418,586
- Mountain Gap P-8 409,191
- Ridgecrest PTA 389,792
- Goldsmith Schiffman Elem. 377,956
- Holy Spirit 332,706
- Whitesburg Christian Academy 332,325
- Hampton Cove Elem PTA 313,522
- ASFL 251,484
- Hampton Cove Middle 249,799
- Chaffee 240,270
- Lakewood 218,477
- Grace Lutheran 216,871
- Montview 180,495
- Highlands PTA 162,694
- Holy Family 161,546
- Weatherly 161,473
- Challenger Elementary 156,191
- Farley 139,992
- Providence PTA 139,158
- Monte Sano 126,757
- Morris PTA 110,277
- McDonnell 110,012
- Randolph 106,930
- Jones Valley 95,565
- Westminster Christian Academy 85,450
- Union Chapel Christian Academy 84,773
- Montessori 75,363
- Oakwood Academy 71,719
- Challenger Middle 60,600
- Lee High PTSA 54,267
- Lincoln Academy 45,000
- Martin Luther King, Jr. Ele. 44,708
- Williams Middle 39,759
- Whitesburg P-8 33,958
- Rolling Hills PTA 26,981
- Butler High AFJROTC 20,402
- Johnson High PTSA 14,305
- Blossomwood participated, but did not count bottle caps