Winter marks the halfway point in the school year — the perfect time to de-clutter cubbies and clean out lockers.
But all those dried-out markers, empty glue sticks and dog-eared books need not end up in landfills. Companies like Crayola, Elmer’s Glue, Staples and more offer recycling programs to give battered backpack dwellers a second life.
Here’s how to recycle some common school supplies:
Binders: International upcycling company TerraCycle has partnered with office supply giant Staples to offer in-store binder recycling. For every used binder you bring in, you’ll receive a $2 credit toward the purchase of a new binder. Old binders are then upcycled or recycled for use in the creation of various new products.
Pens, pencils and highlighters: Fill a bag of empty writing utensils and click over to the Terracycle Office Supply Zero Waste Page to purchase a box with a pre-paid mailing label. Another TerraCycle initiative, this one in conjunction with Bic, is a free program for Bic-brand markers, highlighters, pens, mechanical pencils and watercolor containers.
Markers: Everyone’s favorite art supply becomes liquid fuel for cars via Crayola’s ColorCycle program, available to schools across the continental United States and parts of Canada. The art supply company provides prepaid shipping labels to send used markers to a conversion facility.
Editor’s Note: This page was updated on July 10, 2022, replacing previously listed free Terracycle programs with a paid option and a free Bic brand recycling program.
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