Are Crayons Recyclable? (And Are They Biodegradable?)

Talk about Art and the various means through which it can be created, and your mind probably goes straight to crayons. Crayons are not just tools for creating fridge-worthy stickers; they have also, for a long time, been children’s favorite tool for creating Art. Next to holding a pencil or using watercolors, crayons are equally little delights used to create vibrance of various sizes and colors.

However valuable and useful crayons are, one thing is sure. And that is the brevity in its use. You simply cannot use crayons forever. You will either tire out or desire to switch them up. While many people are focused on using crayons to advance Art, culture, and fashion, many areas regarding crayons lack clarity. One of the crayon areas that require urgent tending is the impact of its use in the environment. This could surely raise so many issues, and these issues undoubtedly need to be addressed.

In this post, we will do all we can to address the environmental impact of recycling crayons. In this light, we will consider the following questions; Are crayons recyclable? If not, what else can you do to them? Do these crayons have any benefit they contribute to the environment? What are the other uses of crayons?

We would proffer answers to these mind-boggling questions in this information-filled article. We advise that you sit back, relax, and follow-through. If you are as inquisitive as we are, what are you waiting for? Let’s dive in!

Can You Recycle Crayons?

Without much ado, the answer to the question, ‘can you recycle crayons?’ is Yes, you can recycle crayons. We are sure that this straight answer will not be a surprise to you if you are quite familiar with the process of recycling and crayons. If you are not, well, let’s get to it.

Crayons are generally produced from petroleum. And just like all other oil-based products are recyclable, crayons are no exception. What this means is that many recycling stations will be glad to receive crayons for recycling in their stations. So, without a doubt, it is safe to say that recycling is a viable option for you to examine if you have crayons to dispose of in your possession.

What you have to do when trying to recycle your crayons is to separate them according to similar colors if you can. If you can’t, you are still cool; recycling stations will still accept them that way. You will also need a paper or plastic bag to put the crayons inside. This is important because crayons are of relatively small size and might get mixed up in the recyclable materials easily. So, to avoid this, bag the crayons and put them in the recycling bin.

The paper on the crayon can also be recycled so long as it’s colored paper. However, because they are made with separate materials, you should not recycle both the crayons and the crayon papers together. This implies that when you are bagging your crayons for recycling, ensure you remove the papers on them.

In essence, as long as your crayons are produced from petroleum or any other oil-based product, you can recycle them.  All you have to do is simply gather them and forward them to a recycling plant. Or recycle them all by yourself, majorly by cutting them into really tiny pieces and baking until the Wax melts.

Can You Donate Used Crayons?

Moving forward, you should know that recycling is not the only option available for the disposal of crayons. If you have been wondering about any other means of disposal for your crayons, then you are in the right place. Keep reading!

Put succinctly, yes, you can donate used crayons if you feel you do not need your crayons anymore. Crayons aim to bring imaginations to life, so avail others the opportunity to do so rather than pile your crayons under a host of household trash. You can always give them out as donations either to children-centered organizations or donation centers.

Are Crayons Biodegradable?

There has been a lot of campaigns recently about the environment and the impacts some of the products we use may have on them. For us over here, we have decided to join in the campaign, and we are asking whether crayons possess the capacity to deteriorate and become nothingness after a particular period?

If you have also been wondering about the biodegradability of crayons, we have got you in this post! Relax, we would explain!

The simple fact is Crayons can and cannot biodegrade. It seems you are confused, well, calm down and keep reading.

We know crayons are made from a petroleum product called Wax. So, in the first instance, this wax is indeed not biodegradable. Reason being that they simply do not possess the capacity to do so.

This is not all.

We would agree that almost nothing is incapable of biodegradation given the right environmental factors and ingredients. Following this same logic, we can then say that crayons, too, when exposed to the right environmental factors, can break down, of course, with the help of bacteria.

The essential ingredient necessary for the breakdown of crayons asides from bacteria is exposure to air. When Crayons are dumped in landfills, there is almost no air exposure once they are buried way deep into the ground and dumped, and this prevents them from biodegrading on time.

As such, the process of biodegradation of crayons can take an extremely long amount of time. It could even span hundreds of years. Aside from its inability to biodegrade, crayons mixed up with other by-products can also release some toxic gases which can cause air pollution.

So you see, it seems like the way out is to lower your disposal of crayons into the garbage. Hence, rather than using disposal methods that would pose harm to the environment, why not opt for more eco-friendly options.

Are Crayons Compostable?

After examining whether or not crayons are biodegradable, one question you’d have on your mind is whether or not crayons are capable of being composted. If you are wondering in this line, it’s quite understandable as you want to make sure you put your resources to good use.

Well, here is the answer you have been looking for; crayons are not compostable. I’m sure this wouldn’t be much of a surprise if you have been following the article keenly and understanding the constituents of crayons.

Crayons are made of wax, and the truth is wax will almost not deteriorate. Although immediately crayons reach a compost pile or a landfill, and the pile gets warm enough from exposure to light, the crayons automatically melt, this does not mean they have been composted. It is just that crayons almost can’t stand the heat, but they will not decompose. They are there in your compost bin forever.

So essentially, crayons are neither biodegradable nor compostable. If you previously had intentions of making them undergo any of these processes, you might want to rethink your action because it is a dead-end.

Does Crayola Take Old Crayons?

Upon first glance of the question, the first question that might pop into your mind is ‘what or who is Crayola?’. Well, Crayola is a production company largely based in America that has specialization in art supplies, such as pencil markers, paints, modeling clay, colored pencils, etc. The company is best known for its unique brands of crayons, which is most likely the backdrop of the question.

To the question of whether Crayola takes old crayons, well, Crayola does not take old crayons. As of now, Crayola does not offer a program for helping to recycle broken crayons. This is because Crayola products are made with superior, safe, and durable products. As such, there is almost no way to incorporate recycled crayon wax into the mixture while still maintaining such a high standard.

As such, the best option for your old crayons is most likely to give them up for donations.

What Can You Do With Used Crayons?

Suppose you are not quite interested in recycling your old crayons. Or, for some reason, you just can’t find a suitable place to recycle them. Do not worry! It is certainly not the end of the world.

There are so many alternatives you can resort to. In case you want to learn more about these alternatives, jump on this!

1. Make Them Into New Ones

Unlock your creative side today and put this to the test. Begin by melting your broken crayons, first by cutting them into really small pieces, then mold them into the shape of crayon you like. It’s quite easy and straightforward.

2. Make Personalized Crayons

Rather than throw out your old crayons, you can use them to make letter-name crayons. Have your name spelled out or any of your loved ones. Kids would love these as a gift. You can, however, only this when you melt your crayons.

3. Transform Them Into Candles

Asides from testing out your creative side by making new crayons from your old ones, you can also turn your broken crayons into Candles. Crayons are made out of a petroleum product called wax. You can simply melt your crayons into little cups. And the fun part is they smell just like crayons when they burn. To switch up the scent, you can always add some scented oil to the Wax before molding.

4. DIY Art

You can use your old crayons for little arts constructed by yourself. Arts like paint rocks with melted crayons, art pictures, wax paper lanterns, crayon luminaries, sandpaper printed t-shirts, etc.

5. Jewelry Pendants

There is almost no limit to what you can use your old crayons to do. You can transform them into jewelry. You can make little pendants from broken crayons and have a little bit of color dangling around your neck.

Other things you can use your old crayons to create include; mosaic, crayon sculpture, crayon coasters, crayon silhouette, wall art, etc.


Every year, millions of Americans and their children use crayons in their homes and schools to bring their imagination to life. You can now imagine if these millions of Americans continue to be indifferent about how they dispose of their crayons.

It sounds funny, but best believe that the world will no sooner than later have a global crisis at hand. A global crisis that could have been easily avoided. This is why you just cannot afford to take a chance with the disposal of your old crayons. Suppose we were all attentive to the littlest things. Therefore, you can contribute your quota for the environment’s benefit by first of all starting to make conscious efforts on how you dispose of the seemingly insignificant items, starting with your crayons.

We have provided answers to everything we deem important for you to know about recycling and disposal of crayons. So now, the ball is in your court to make an environmentally safe choice.


Share on:

About Rinkesh

A true environmentalist by heart ❤️. Founded Conserve Energy Future with the sole motto of providing helpful information related to our rapidly depleting environment. Unless you strongly believe in Elon Musk‘s idea of making Mars as another habitable planet, do remember that there really is no 'Planet B' in this whole universe.