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Diamonds and crayons are forever (practically)

A crayon recycling collection box can be found in the children's area of the Bluffton Public Library.

By Liz Gordon-Hancock

Don’t throw your unwanted crayons away! According to Crayola’s website, Crayola crayons are made of paraffin wax, which is refined from petroleum. That means crayons take years to biodegrade if thrown away and taken to landfill. 

According to the National Crayon Recycle Program, 12 million crayons are produced each day. That makes a potential 12 million crayons going into landfill tomorrow. 

But crayons can easily be recycled, since paraffin is made from petroleum, an oil-based product, according to, an environmentally conscious recycling database.

The EPA says petroleum can contaminate the environment if not properly disposed of, and is often recyclable so should not be sent to landfill.  

So instead of throwing your used or broken crayons in the trash, you could recycle them via the below three options:

Donate your still good, unbroken crayons to organizations like the Crayon Collection program, who give them to under-privileged kids in Head Start programs and schools around the world.

Send your unwanted, broken crayons to be melted down into new crayons or artwork, such as the Crayon Initiative, who melt crayons down into new three-sided crayons which are then given to kids in hospitals, or the National Recycle Crayon Program.

Recycle crayons yourself, melting them down in molds to form new, shaped crayons to be reused or given as creative gifts. 

It’s something small but can make a big impact on the environment.