Bon Air Elementary, in Kokomo, Indiana, was crowned today as the first repeat national champion of Keep America Beautiful’s Recycle-Bowl, the national recycling competition for elementary-, middle- and high-school students, teachers and school communities.

Competing against more than 1,000 schools spanning 42 states and the District of Columbia, Bon Air Elementary recycled more than 8 tons of materials during the competition. The high school will be awarded a recycled content plastic park bench, courtesy of Trex, and $1,500 worth of recycling bins from Busch Systems. The Recycle-Bowl competition took place over four weeks in the fall, culminating on America Recycles Day on Nov. 15, 2017.

“We are thrilled for the students of Bon-Air Elementary School for exemplifying the mission of Recycle-Bowl,” said Brenda Pulley, senior vice president/recycling, Keep America Beautiful. “It’s encouraging to see students of all age groups and from all parts of the country get so excited about recycling both at school and at home. Congratulations to Bon-Air Elementary School and all of our Recycle-Bowl statewide winners.”

More than 550,000 students and teachers participated in Recycle-Bowl, striving to recycle as much as possible. Recyclables recovered during the 2017 competition totaled 2 million pounds, which prevented the release of 2,800 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (M TCO2E). This reduction in greenhouse gases is comparable to removing the air pollution from almost 600 passenger cars from the road.

“I am proud of how well Bon Air has performed in this competition. I hope they continue on this path even when Recycle-Bowl is over,” said Mikki Jeffers, executive director, Howard County (Indiana) Recycling District. “For Taylor Elementary to receive the most improved on recycling is wonderful. The school came back focused on raising awareness and changing people’s behavior to recycle more in the school.”