How to Recycle Crayola Markers: Is It Possible?

Recycling Crayola markers has become a bit more challenging recently.

The once-popular ColorCycle program has been discontinued, leaving many wondering how to responsibly dispose of their used art supplies.

Crafting with markers often leaves us with vibrant drawings, but also a collection of dried-out pens that seem destined for the trash. However, throwing them away isn’t the only option—there are alternative methods to ensure that these plastic products don’t end up in landfills.

Understanding the difficulty of recycling Crayola markers is the first step to finding sustainable solutions.

The components of markers are intricate, consisting of plastic, a fiber tip, and ink reservoirs, which complicate the recycling process. Yet, with a growing awareness around the environmental impact of waste, it’s important to explore options that go beyond the usual recycling routes.

Key Takeaways

  • Crayola’s ColorCycle program is no longer running.
  • Marker recycling poses unique challenges.
  • Seeking alternatives to traditional disposal is important.

No More ColorCycle: What To Do With Old Crayola Markers?

While ColorCycle by Crayola is no longer an option, there are still ways to be environmentally responsible with your old Crayola markers.

Stationery Recycling in the U.S.:

  • Look for BIC recycling program which accept various stationery items.
  • Drop off your old Crayola markers at designated sites.

Marker Recycling in Canada:

  • Participating Staples stores are available for you to bring in your old markers.
  • Drop off your old Crayola markers at designated sites.

This ensures your markers are handled sustainably as much as possible because recycling markers is a complex process with many challenges.

I live in Canada and I do have a few Staples stores around me. However, I have not yet tried to recycle markers there. My son is intensively going through his first batch of markers so I feel like soon, I will need to recycle the dry ones. Then, I will try the recycling program at Staples and I will update this post.

Why Is Recycling Markers a Challenge?

used markers pile up in a bin. a recycling symbol is displayed prominently. a recycling facility is shown in the background

Recycling Crayola markers in particular and markers in general isn’t as straightforward as recycling paper or glass.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the challenges:

  • Mixed Materials: Difficult to separate for standard recycling processes.
  • Size of Components: After disassembling, parts are typically too diminutive for recyclers to handle efficiently.

Crayola markers consist of various types of plastics, often fused together, which complicates the separation process necessary for recycling.

Such mix of materials has to be meticulously sorted, which isn’t viable with every recycling system.

Since recycling centers are optimized for materials that are easier to sort and process, this poses a unique recycling puzzle. The tiny components of Crayola markers can clog machinery or get discarded because they cannot be processed with larger items.

It’s essential to find specialized recycling programs that accept these art supplies and have the capabilities to handle their unique composition.

What Else Can You Do?

refillable markers of different sizes

If you want to minimize your environmental footprint with Crayola markers, consider alternatives apart from participating in recycling programs. Here are some actions you can take:

  • Opt for Refillable Markers: Purchase refillable markers.
  • Get Crafty: Give your markers a second life by using them in art projects or as DIY tools.
  • Educate Others: Teach friends and family about the benefits of using and recycling Crayola markers.

Here are a few more eco-friendly practices you can do as well:

  • Buy in bulk to reduce packaging.
  • Properly store markers to prolong their life.
  • Buy markers that are eco-concisely made such as Crayola markers.

Embracing these habits not only contributes to a healthier planet but also inspires those around you to make greener choices.


Don’t despair! While ColorCycle is gone, there are workarounds.

Look for specialized marker recycling programs, especially those accepting mixed materials. Refillable markers and creative reuse offer eco-friendly alternatives.

By understanding the challenges and exploring options, we can give our used Crayola markers a new lease on life, minimizing waste and maximizing creativity – all while keeping our planet vibrant!


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