How To Recycle Crayons

Crazy Crayon Program and Make a Sand Candle

They're small, broken and just kid stuff but when you learn how to recycle crayons through Crazy Crayons or by making candles, you'll begin to see them as an excellent way to teach your children how to be eco-friendly kids.

Have you ever been to a classroom, Sunday school room, or even in your own child's room and found a box of crayon "bits"? Often without wrappers, these stubs are still technically useful, but they are hard to grip and no one knows what the colors are. Thus they tend to remain unused until they are thrown away.

But there are options to tossing unusable crayon stubs. They can be recycled at home or at special centers for this very purpose.

How Can You Recycle Crayons?

First, explain to your children - or local school, church or play school - the difference recycling old, broken crayons can make to our landfills.

Tons of crayons are thrown away without a second thought.

Then show them these simple ways of how to recycle crayons.

Since The Crayon Recycling Program is about education, you might want to send away for their free coloring pictures to help explain this to your children.

Here is how the program works:

1. The Crazy Crayons Program

This recycling effort has stopped more than 46,000 pounds of discarded crayons from making their way into landfills. That's a lot of wax! A company called LAF Lines Ltd has developed a Crayon Recycling Program: you send LAF Lines Ltd your discarded crayon stubs, and they in turn send the stubs to a company that recycles them into Crazy Crayons. These two businesses work together to produce unique crayon creations.

Where do they get all those crayons?

The Crayon Recycling Program collects all of those crayon stubs through schools and individuals who participate. School children and teachers collect the stubs in boxes and send them to LAF Lines Ltd. If you are thinking of implementing this for your classroom, preschool, daycare, homeschool, etc., here are some guidelines and suggestions for sending the crayon stubs through the mail:

-Use sturdy cardboard - crayons are surprisingly heavy.

-If there are wrappers on the crayons, leave them on. This makes it easier for the folks at LAF Lines Ltd to sort them.

-Use UPS ground to send your packages of crayons, and call ahead to arrange for your shipment. Since you are sending your crayons to a business, you may get a break on postage.

-Consolidate your crayons into one box to save shipping - but don't exceed the Post Office's 70-pound limit.

-Fit the crayon stubs snugly together to minimize the chance of the box getting crushed.

For more information about this recycling program, visit

2. How To Recycle Crayons At Home

If you are unable to participate in the above program (say you only have a dozen or so crayon bits), there are some ways you can recycle them at home.

Here is an interesting idea for turning your crayons into candles.

To do this craft, you will need:

 -a shoebox
 -sand (such as you might use in a child's sandbox)
 -cotton string or candle wicking (for a wick)
 -old soup cans or other heat-resistant, metal cans
 -white paraffin used for candle making (available at hobby stores)
1. Halfway fill the shoebox with sand making sure the sand is level and even as much as possible.

2. Dig a small, circular depression in the sand, about the size of an orange.

3. Push your finger into the bottom of the depression in 3 or 4 places. These will be the candle's "legs," so try to space them evenly and make them the same length.

4. Cut a wick from the cotton string (or wicking) and gently insert it into the sand in the middle of your mold.

5. In a skillet (electric skillets work especially well), bring several inches of water to a boil and keep it at a low simmer. Halfway fill the soup can(s) with small pieces of paraffin and crayon stubs.

6. Set the cans into the hot water and melt, adding more wax and crayons as there is room until the can is filled to halway.

7. (Adults only) Using a hot pad, carefully lift out the soup can and slowly pour the liquid wax into the sand mold.

8. Cool without disturbing. When the wax is solid again, gently lift your candle out from the sand. Carefully brush off extra sand and place candle on a plate or wide candle holder to lessen the spread of particles of sand.

Once you learn a few ways of how to recycle crayons, there is no need to let those bothersome crayon stubs be a waste! They will become a resource - and you might even find yourself asking your friends for their broken crayons!

Feel proud! Teaching your children how to recycle their crayons and become eco-friendly is a good thing for everyone.
How To Recycle Crayons:Return To Homepage

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