Crayola Marker Recycling

Crayola, central Nebraska schools and Mary Hughes, Project Coordinator for Keep Loup Basin Beautiful, have banded together to help kids understand the importance of their role in protecting the environment. That’s why they launched the Crayola “ColorCycle” program. Through this initiative, students in K-12 schools in central Nebraska and across the continental United States and parts of Canada can collect and repurpose used markers.

“Now in our 3rd year of the Crayola Marker Recycling program, we are off to a great start. The 2016-2017 school year has a total of 44 schools participating in our program. This great program recycles all brands and kinds of markers! Whether you have dry-erase, highlighters, permanent or non-permanent markers this program accepts all types! No need to sort them, just toss them in the designated boxes at these 44 schools locations and I will pick them up at the end of each school year. This pick-up time allows students and teachers to clean out their desks and/or lockers at the end of the school year and add them to the collection boxes” notes Mary Hughes, Program Coordinator for KLBB.

Through the ColorCycle program, schools collect markers and then box them up for shipment to the ColorCycle recycling facility. Crayola provides the shipping label so there’s no cost to schools. They’re melted down at the recycling facility and turned into a fuel that Crayola says “can be used to heat a home, run a car, or cook food.” To learn more about how you can participate please go to

As far as the aim of the program, in their own words: “Crayola conducted extensive research into various new and emerging technologies that would allow the company to repurpose its markers and found the most efficient and beneficial solution at this time is the plastic to energy process, which allows the company to repurpose the entire marker.”

Did You Know That….

– One box of eight (8) recycled markers creates enough energy to prepare a breakfast that consists of brewing a pot of coffee, frying an egg, and making two pieces of toast.

– 308 markers produces 1 gallon of fuel, which is enough to power an SUV (consider 15 MPG) for 15 miles.

– If a classroom recycles 193 markers, that is enough to move a city bus (consider 5 MPG) for three miles.

Keep Loup Basin Beautiful (KLBB) is grant-funded through the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality (NDEQ) and Keep America Beautiful; and is a project of the Loup Basin RC&D Council that promotes litter prevention, waste reduction, recycling, and beautification. KLBB serves thirteen counties in central and north-central Nebraska. For more information about KLBB’s education programs, email KLBB at [email protected], visit, or like them on Facebook. Contact the Loup Basin RC&D office (308)-346-3393 or stop by the office at the Loup Rivers Scenic Byway Interpretive Center, 330 South Highway 11 Burwell, Nebraska.