Recycle-Bowl Winner Announced

Feb 15, 2013
More than 1,500 schools mark second annual K-12 Recycle-Bowl competition; 4.5 million pounds of recyclables recovered
When the 404 students and teachers at Taylor Primary school in Kokomo, Ind. entered the Recycle-Bowl competition in October, they had hopes that their recycling efforts would mean a big win. They were right – on February 13 they were named the national winner in Keep America Beautiful’s second year of running the contest, the first nationwide recycling competition for elementary-, middle- and high-school students. Recycle-Bowl, sponsored by Nestlé Waters North America (NWNA), reached more than 900,000 students across America with schools in all 50 states and the District of Columbia competing.
The Taylor Primary students recycled 47 pounds of waste per child. If all students in America recycled at the rate of this year’s Recycle-Bowl competitors, approximately 2.4 million tons of material would be diverted annually from landfills. That would be the weight of 201,135 school buses.
“Keep America Beautiful is pleased with the great momentum Recycle-Bowl achieved in its second year, thanks to the effort of students, teachers and school administrators across America,” said Matt McKenna, president and CEO of Keep America Beautiful. “Recycle-Bowl provides teachers with a great opportunity to integrate math, science and sustainability lessons into classroom curricula through experiential education as well as a way to introduce recycling into a school’s general operations.”
From Oct. 15 through Nov. 9, 2012, participating schools recycled as much as possible. The total amount of recyclables recovered during the 2012 competition added up to 4.5 million pounds, which in turn prevented the release of nearly 1,717 metric tons of carbon equivalent (MTCE). In real-world terms, this reduction in greenhouse gases is equivalent to the annual emissions from 334 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 an 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 Kokomo, Ind., school.
“Starting with preschool, our students are introduced to the importance of recycling.  Through each grade level they take on more recycling responsibility, “said Teri Stokes, principal of Taylor Primary School. “Recycling comes naturally. It's just part of our everyday routine at school.”
This is NWNA’s second year as the lead corporate sponsor of Recycle-Bowl. “Nestlé Waters North America is delighted that Recycle-Bowl’s second year has achieved such significant growth with a 25 percent increase in participating schools and nearly 1 million students receiving further education about the importance of recycling,” said Heidi Paul, vice president, corporate affairs, NWNA. “The increase in the number of schools using Recycle-Bowl as a way to start a school recycling program demonstrates its value.”
Support for the competition came from both state and local Keep America Beautiful partners. "The Indiana Recycling Coalition is thrilled to support Recycle-Bowl as we work to advance K-12 recycling across the state, and we could not be more proud that the 2012 Recycle-Bowl national winner is from Indiana," stated Carey Hamilton, executive director, Indiana Recycling Coalition.
A separate national category featured schools that allow drop-off material from the surrounding community, offering a first-place $1,000 prize, a second-place $750 prize and a third-place $500 prize. First place in the national drop-off category went to Lynden Christian School in Lynden, Wash. Its per capita rate was 550 pounds.
A full list of statewide winners can be found at To sign up to receive updates for next year’s competition, visit