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Why is it that the red crayon is always used up first? Too many firetrucks in coloring books? Lack of imagination to see balloons in a different color? The answer to this question may never be clear, but one thing that is clear is that crayons (red or not) do not work well in landfills. You may be surprised to know that the same crayons that have helped to make cherished pictures that cover your refrigerator will be in landfills for centuries to come, long after those pictures have disintegrated.

Crayons Are Not Biodegradable?

Crayons are great. They keep kids entertained, help to create heartwarming cards and pictures, and chances are if your child colors on the kitchen wall with one, it can be cleaned off easily with a little elbow grease and water. However, crayons are actually a bi-product of petroleum called paraffin. The consequence of this: while the paper detailing the creative names of the various colors will disintegrate over time, the wax will remain in landfills for thousands of years to come!

The Crayon Graveyard

There are many reasons why you shouldn’t just pitch those broken, unwanted crayons in the trash:

  • As mentioned, the wax remains in landfills (potentially harming the environment) for thousands of years.
  • 75,000 pounds of crayons that are thrown out each year takes up a lot of space in landfills. These landfills are already overflowing in many cases. There is no sense using landfill space when there is an excellent alternative: recycling.
  • The wax from unwanted/used crayons can be used to make new crayons rather than relying on factories to create new crayons, thus creating added pollution in the air.

Reuse & Give Crayons A New Life!

Recycling old or unwanted crayons is an incredibly easy and effective method to eliminate crayons from landfills altogether. By recycling crayons, you can feel confident knowing you are contributing (even in a small way) to a cleaner, healthier environment one crayon at a time.

  • One easy way to recycle old crayons is to donate them to schools, daycare centers, hospitals, or family members with children. Kids are always excited to get new crayons, even used ones.
  • Another brilliant project is available called the National Crayon Recycle Program. This organization takes your unwanted, rejected crayons and recycles them into new crayons that can be enjoyed over and over again. Their process is quite easy: you just gather up your unwanted crayons and ship them back and they take care of the rest.
  • A charitable way to recycle crayons is also available through The Crayon Initiative. They will accept your used crayons, remanufacture them into new crayons, and donate them to children’s hospitals. What a wonderful way to help the environment AND sick children!
  • Looking for a fun, DIY project on a rainy afternoon? Recycle your own crayons by following these easy steps:
  1. Sort crayons by color and remove wrappings.
  2. Place crayons in separate oven-safe containers.
  3. Heat oven to 250-300 degrees.
  4. Once crayons are melted, pour into molds and let harden.

Color The World Beautiful!

By choosing to recycle unwanted, broken, or unused crayons, you are helping to add color and beauty to the world and prevent a waxy sludge from inhabiting landfills. Remember being a kid and how happy you were to get a new, fresh box of crayons? The possibilities seemed endless looking at all of those colorful, sharp crayons. We can look at our world the same way by doing little things each day to make our world a better place. Chuck It Junk Removal does just that. By eliminating junk and garbage each day in a safe, responsible way, we are doing our part to make this world a better place with endless possibilities!