Crayola Color Cycle: Green, Easy, Free!

Crayola Color Cycle

We can melt down crayons, recycle scraps into collages, and reconstitute paints, but what the heck do we do with dried out markers? Sure, we can get the very last bit of ink out by dipping the markers in water, but no matter what, we are left with a plastic remnant that has little value as an art material, yet another piece of trash…but wait! Crayola has come up with a fantastic solution. The Color-Cycle program is a cool way for your classroom, school or district to collect used markers and turn them into something useful. Crayola is turning markers once destined for the landfill into fuel! The Crayola website has more details on the process, a sign to post in your room, and even a short video to show your students and colleagues about the program. All you really need to know is that it’s as easy as this…

  1. Register your school with the Crayola Color-Cycle website.
  2. Collect and count markers (any kind, not just Crayola brand!).
  3. Print the shipping label.
  4. Have FedEx come and pick up the box and whisk it away for recycling.

Pretty amazing!

What other ways do you make your art room green?

What do you do with old markers? 

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Sarah Dougherty

My name is Sarah Dougherty, and I teach elementary art in a large urban district in central Iowa. I love working with our diverse population of K-5 students to bring art to their homes, communities, and everyday lives.


  • Katie Morris

    We also recycle glue containers with Elmer’s Glue Crew through Terracycle and several other types of waste. It’s really easy and can raise a bit of money for your school.

    • I hadn’t heard of Terracycle before, Katie. Thanks for sharing!

  • theresa

    We save our markers, empty glue sticks,and any other lids and containers we find interesting. We clean and store them in big clear jars all year. I teach Louise Nevelson Sculpture to my 3rd graders at the end of the school year. We get small pizza boxes, or shoe box lids for the base and use all of our fun found art material leftovers to create beautiful sculptures.

    • I’ve seen those Nevelson lessons on Pinterest before and always wanted to try them! Cool way to recycle! Thanks, Theresa.

  • Laura Allan

    I save the caps from all my dried markers. I use some for good markers that have lost their caps, we use some to put designs and textures on clay, and the rest are in a big container waiting for that big idea that hasn’t come to me yet. I will definitely look into the crayola marker thing. Most of my markers are Sharpies or Mr. Sketch. I did see a thing on pinterst where you could make liquid watercolors by soaking bunches of markers, rubberbanded together in water. But that doesn’t solve the issue of what to do with the plastic part. Thanks for sharing! :)

  • Mrs.C

    I save the old marker caps for markers that have lost their cap, we also use the marker caps for stamping circles with tempera paint, The dead markers themselves are mummified ( wrapped in paper towel and masking tape, then plaster strips) as part of an Egyptian Unit! :)

  • Lauren

    I created an awesome installation out of marker caps which hangs in one of my artrooms. The caps have a tiny ventilation things inside the caps that I threaded fishing line through and attached a dozen or so colorful caps. Kids absolutely love the installation and have collected caps from various markers and “gift” them to me.

  • Matthew Martinez

    This sounds great. Going to share it with the other art teachers in the district!