For the second year in a row, Hailey Elementary School has been declared the Idaho winner of Recycle-Bowl, a nationwide recycling competition for elementary, middle and high school students.
To take top state honors, each student recycled an average of 4.5 pounds of waste. The school received $1,000 in prize money for winning the state competition.
“Recycle-Bowl helps bring environmental action into each of our hands,” said Cathy Tyson-Foster, an environmental consultant, co-president of the school’s Parent Teacher Association and the school’s Recycle-Bowl coordinator. “Kids probably don’t know how to save a whale, but they can easily recycle something every day, which helps the whales as well as humans. Hailey kids are improving their environment by being enthusiastic recyclers.”
Tyson-Foster added that recycling, rather than manufacturing items from raw materials, saves energy, creates less air and water pollution and saves on landfill space.
“Recycling empowers kids,” said school Principal Tom Bailey. “The school recycles year round, but the competition gives recycling a boost among students and staff. It also provides teachers with a great opportunity to integrate math, science and sustainability into classroom curricula.”
The competition was conducted from Oct. 15 through Nov. 15 in 2013. The total amount of recyclables recovered nationwide during the competition added up to 4.6 million pounds. According to a news release, that amount reduces carbon emissions by 8,913 metric tons and is the equivalent of removing 473 passenger cars from the roads for a full year.
The contest was developed by Keep America Beautiful, a nonprofit organization to improve community environments. More than 690,000 students from more than 1,500 schools participated in the competition in 2013.