Taylor Primary School in Kokomo, Ind., has taken first prize in the second annual Recycle-Bowl, a nationwide recycling competition for schools.

Keep America Beautiful announced that students at Taylor recycled 47 pounds of waste per child during the 2012 competition, which lasted from Oct. 15 through Nov. 9.

“Starting with preschool, our students are introduced to the importance of recycling,” says Teri Stokes, principal of Taylor Primary School. “Through each grade level they take on more recycling responsibility. Recycling comes naturally. It's just part of our everyday routine at school.”

The competition awards a $1,000 prize to the school in each state that collected the most recyclable material per capita. The national champion is chosen from among the statewide winners and receives an additional grand prize of another $1,000 and a $2,500 credit to buy recycling bins.

Keep America Beautiful says in a news release that more than 900,000 students from schools in all 50 states and the District of Columbia took part. The recyclables recovered during the 2012 competition amounted to 4.5 million pounds, which in turn prevented the release of nearly 1,717 metric tons of carbon equivalent. In real-world terms, this reduction in greenhouse gases is equivalent to the annual emissions from 334 passenger cars.

“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,” says 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.”

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 recycle-bowl.org/2012-recycle-bowl-winners