Turning Markers Into Fuel

Last year, students at an elementary school in San Rafael, California started an online petition and created a video requested that Crayola, a manufacturer of crayons, markers, and other school and art supplies, start a take-back recycling program to collect the millions of unusable markers typically thrown away by schools every year.

When the online petition started, Crayola issued a statement saying that they did not have the necessary infrastructure in place to process a recycling take-back program. As a result, several other competitors in the marketplace stepped forward and offered schools a recycling program if their products were used instead of Crayola’s.

One year and ninety thousand signatures later, Crayola announced that it had changed direction and would begin the process of obtaining and recycling waste markers. Marker caps can be recycled with most hard plastics and the marker barrel can be recycled after the tip and reservoir are removed. In addition, Crayola’s ColorCycle program allows schools and other groups to collect spent markers and ship them free of charge to a processing facility where they are converted into clean-burning fuel. This process uses the entire marker and does not require any dis-assembly beforehand.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: In this day and age, more and more customers are demanding environmental accountability from the organizations they do business with. What is your business doing to show that recycling and reuse are important? If you don’t, you might find your competitors stepping forward!