Simple Service: Recycling Plastic Markers


My kids love art. My four year old and seven year old spend their free time cutting, pasting, drawing, beading, and coloring. [Correction: My four and a half year old - she gets upset every time I accidentally slip and forget the "half"]. The "guest room" of our house has converted to the "art room" with paint, markers, paper and glue covering the empty bed.


When markers dry up (which they do - often - given the amount of use they have), we have thrown them away. Until recently...


My aunt sent me a link to Crayola's recycle program. I hadn't heard of it but was immediately intrigued knowing I'd rather recycle the markers than use them to fill up our landfills. Crayola has a program through schools where they recycle markers of any brand and any type. According to their website:

Crayola and schools across North America are banding together to help kids understand the importance of their role in protecting the environment. That’s why we launched Crayola ColorCycle. Through this initiative, students in K-12 schools across the continental United States and parts of Canada can collect and repurpose used Crayola markers.

ColorCycle is also a great opportunity for teachers and their students to explore eco-friendly practices. Specially developed standards-based lesson plans are available to enrich instruction and promote lively class discussions.

I immediately told my girls about it. They were both on board and asked if we could do it. "Email my secretary!" my seven year old said excitedly. When I didn't email the secretary that day or the next, my seven year old followed up with me, "Have you sent that email to Ms. Patti yet?" 

The email I sent looked like this (feel free to copy/paste and adjust it to send to your child's school secretary):

Hi Patti!

I know you're super busy with school kick off. My Ruby girl is super excited for the first day. Quick idea I just wanted to run by you:

I recently learned about a marker recycle program that many schools are doing with Crayola. How it works is that someone at the school needs to set up an account with Crayola, then puts a collection basket in the school. When the basket is full of markers (they can be any type of markers and any brand), then Crayola pays the shipping to have them mailed in. 

So, here are my questions:

1 ~ Is the school already doing this?

2 ~ If not, can I set up an account and be in charge of the collection? I'll set up the account with Crayola and be in charge of mailing it off. You wouldn't have to do anything except allow me to put a basket in the office.

Here is the information about it in case you're curious:

Thanks so much!


When I heard back from my daughter's school I learned that they already had a recycling marker box that we were welcome to use for all our markers. Fabulous! Then it was just a matter of gathering up the dead markers around the house and bringing them in.