Huntsville schools collect more than 8 million bottle caps in annual competition

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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

  1. University Place                                       1,929,329
  2. AAA PTA                                                    537,534
  3. JE Williams Elem PTA                            442,179
  4. Chapman P-8                                            418,586
  5. Mountain Gap P-8                                  409,191
  6. Ridgecrest PTA                                         389,792
  7. Goldsmith Schiffman Elem.                        377,956
  8. Holy Spirit                                                  332,706
  9. Whitesburg Christian Academy            332,325
  10. Hampton Cove Elem PTA                       313,522
  11. ASFL                                                        251,484
  12. Hampton Cove Middle                       249,799
  13. Chaffee                                                 240,270
  14. Lakewood                                             218,477
  15. Grace Lutheran                                    216,871
  16. Montview                                             180,495
  17. Highlands PTA                                      162,694
  18. Holy Family                                           161,546
  19. Weatherly                                            161,473
  20. Challenger Elementary                       156,191
  21. Farley                                                    139,992
  22. Providence PTA                                   139,158
  23. Monte Sano                                          126,757
  24. Morris PTA                                            110,277
  25. McDonnell                                            110,012
  26. Randolph                                               106,930
  27. Jones Valley                                         95,565
  28. Westminster Christian Academy      85,450
  29. Union Chapel Christian Academy     84,773
  30. Montessori                                           75,363
  31. Oakwood Academy                             71,719
  32. Challenger Middle                               60,600
  33. Lee High        PTSA                               54,267
  34. Lincoln Academy                                 45,000
  35. Martin Luther King, Jr. Ele.                 44,708
  36. Williams Middle                                   39,759
  37. Whitesburg P-8                                    33,958
  38. Rolling Hills PTA                                  26,981
  39. Butler High AFJROTC                          20,402
  40. Johnson High PTSA                             14,305
  41. Blossomwood                      participated, but did not count bottle caps