Recycle-Bowl® is a nationwide classroom recycling competition that CAPCO has supported for the past two years with nearly 700,000 students in all 50 states and the District of Columbia competing.
The 2013 national Recycle-Bowl champion was Foothill Elementary School in Pittsburg, CA where students recycled 157 pounds of materials per child. If all students in America recycled at the rate of this year’s Recycle-Bowl competitors, approximately 3.2 million tons of material would be diverted annually from landfills. That is the equivalent weight of 302,033 school buses.
“Inspiring young people to recycle at school reinforces the importance of recycling everywhere, whether at home or on the go,” said Jennifer Jehn, president and CEO of Keep America Beautiful. “We are also pleased that so many schools use the competition to improve existing recycling programs or develop new ones that didn’t exist prior to their participation.”
From Oct. 15 through Nov. 15, 2013, participating schools recycled as much as possible. The total amount of recyclables recovered during the 2013 competition added up to 6.4 million pounds, which in turn prevented the release of nearly 8,913 metric tons of carbon equivalent. In real-world terms, this reduction in greenhouse gases is equivalent to the annual emissions from 473 passenger cars.
The competition offered a $1,000 prize to the school in each state that collected the most recyclable material per capita. A national champion was then chosen from among the statewide winners to receive an additional grand prize of another $1,000 and a $2,500 store credit from Busch Systems to purchase recycling bins, earning a total of $4,500 in prize money for the California school.
“The Recycle-Bowl competition offers a chance to strengthen the current recycling efforts in our school and activate students to recycle. The raised awareness and excitement around recycling reaches each grade level in the school and brings a sense of ownership to each student, “said Sara Fuentes, recycling coordinator for Foothills Elementary School. “Our students worked hard—they’re proud of the impact they had on recycling in the school.”
CAPCO has supported the Recycle-Bowl as a toolkit sponsor and has included a classroom activity and an information sheet about recycling empty aerosol products which is sent to the first 1,000 schools that register for the competition each year.