How to Recycle Crayons

crayons for recycling
CC Flickr photo of crayons courtesy of laffy4k.

Can you recycle crayons?

If you’ve got kids then you’re almost guaranteed to have a bunch of old crayon stubs in a whole variety of colors. From the moment your child was able to grasp a crayon in his or her hands along with all those free restaurant crayons which your child has flatly refused to leave behind on the dining table.

Well, rather than allowing them to fester in a drawer somewhere or be thrown in the trash, why not get the kids to turn them into some fun to make and environmentally friendly gifts.

Can Crayons be recycled?

Most definitely! Old crayon stubs can be turned into fun and exciting new shapes which your child can either use themselves or give away as presents. Not only does it mean you can spend some quality parent and child time, but you child can also have the satisfaction of seeing something which they themselves have created. And you’re giving them a valuable lesson in recycling along the way.

What are the possibilities for recycled crayons?

Recycling crayons is simple. All it takes is some old cups in which to melt the crayons, a spoon, microwave or oven and some soap or cake moulds. Cut the crayons into old pieces and place in the cups. Place in the microwave and heat until the crayons have melted. Then pour the liquid crayon into the moulds and allow to set. This doesn’t take long at all, just a matter of minutes which is great when working with impatient kids! Pop them out of the moulds and voila! You have brand new crayons.

These can be wrapped in pretty packaging and given to relatives and friends as great, homemade gifts.

Another option if you don’t want to do this is to send the crayon stubs off to The National Crayon Recycle Program. Here your old crayons will be turned into new ones, so ensuring nothing of the crayon is wasted. You can check out their contact details here –

But what about the resources used in the crayon recycling process?

The small amount of electricity used in order to melt the crayons is nothing compared to the cost of putting them into landfill. Plus you have the added bonus of knowing that every part of the crayon is being recycled, and that nothing is going to waste.

Other Crayon Recycling Resources Frugal Living has a great page about how to recycle crayons yourself as an arts and crafts project.

There’s also a 3 minute video on YouTube covering the same subject.

Recycling Revolution has the address where you can send crayons to be recycled.

Did we miss anything? Leave a comment and let us know, so we can continue to improve this page.

How to Recycle Denim

CC Flickr photo of denim courtesy of vvvracer.

Can you recycle denim?

Pretty much every one of us owns at least one pair of jeans. And if you are anything like the average American, it’s probably far more than one pair! The thing is, many of us have jeans that are perfectly serviceable, they just don’t fit any more. And it’s not only jeans; there’s plenty of other clothing made from denim, including jackets, skirts and waistcoats.

But even if you don’t want your denim anymore, there’s plenty of environmentally friendly ways to dispose of it, and it can nearly always be recycled.

Can denim be recycled?

Oh yes, most definitely. And the market for good quality, vintage denim jeans is massive. And if it’s got a designer label there’s no reason at all why you can’t make a few dollars along the way.

But even if your jeans aren’t made by Versace or they’ve seen better days, there are still many options for recycling denim. It’s such a sturdy material that it’s tough enough for many uses, not just wearing. So the next time you’re thinking of chucking some denim in the trash, why not consider some of these options.

What are the possibilities for recycled denim material?

If the jeans (or jacket, skirt or whatever) is still in a serviceable condition, consider either donating it or, if it’s got a desirable name tag, you can consider selling it. Remember, you may not want jeans with rips or tears across the knees but there’s a whole bunch of people who see this as the height of fashion!

If you want to sell, then try eBay or a car boot sale. If you want to donate then there are plenty of charity shops who will be more than happy to take serviceable clothes off your hands. Plus you get the added bonus of knowing that you are supporting a good cause.

If the jeans have seen better days then you can always turn them into a sexy pair of denim shorts. And you don’t have to worry about the edges fraying, as this is part of the appeal.

However, if the denim really has seen better days then you may be better off turning it into some other useful item. It doesn’t take a lot of effort to produce a clothes peg bag or even cutting it into squares and sewing them together to make a cover or blanket which could be used for animal bedding.

It’s also handy to keep old denim to use as patches for other jeans or denim clothes.

But what about the resources used in the recycling process of denim?

Apart from a bit of cotton and some time, none of the above ways of recycling use up any resources. That’s one of the great things about reusing and recycling, and the more we all become aware of it the better for the environment.

Other Reputable Resources About Denim Recycling

REUSE is a company that sells recycled denim products.

Jeanology is an awesome recycled denim store on Etsy that you should check out.

Ecouterre has a great article about 7 ways to recycle denim.

Cotton from Blue to Green was a 2010 denim recycling project that had a lot of success.

You can buy recycled denim insulation for your home!

How to Recycle Drywall

drywall recycling
CC Flickr photo of drywall in need of recycling by clutterbusters.

With the huge amount of new homes being built in the U.S. every year, it’s not surprising that landfill sites are filled with hundreds of thousands of tons of drywall. Not to mention houses which are renovated, refurbished or torn down. Around 40 billion square feet of drywall (or gypsum drywall, to give it its full name) is produced in the North America every single year, and because of the nature of house building, much of this is wasted. On average, every single day 40,000 tons of drywall is dumped in landfill, so it is an enormous problem. Many landfill sites have now banned drywall.

Can drywall be recycled?

In theory, yes. And very slowly, recycling facilities are springing up in the U.S. to be able to deal with this. Gypsum makes up around 90% of a piece of drywall, and in theory if this can be recovered then it can be recycled. However, there are many challenges involved in doing so, including the collection and separation of the materials.

Currently, the main problem is that it is cheaper to dump drywall in landfill than it is to recycle. But very gradually people’s attitude towards this is changing, and it is now possible to recycle drywall in many U.S. states.

To find out the possibilities of recycling drywall near where you live, visit and enter your zip code.

What are the possibilities for the recycled drywall?

When drywall is recycled it can be used for a few different purposes, most obviously the manufacture of new drywall. It can also be used in the production of cement, as an additive for compost, to produce fertilizer and added to soil and crops for drainage use.

It has also been proposed that the recycled gypsum may be suitable for various construction products, animal bedding and even in the fabrication of flea powder.

But what about the resources used in the drywall recycling process?

Because around 90% of drywall can be recycled, it is definitely worth doing. But there are many issues which have to be addressed in doing so. These include human and environmental safety issues, along with the possibility of asbestos or lead paint contaminating the gypsum. Each state has its own regulatory requirements for the recycling of drywall. These issues are one of the reasons why it is still commonplace for drywall to be dumped in landfill.

Over recent years there has been a new concept of recycling drywall at construction sites. This has an added bonus of not burning up oil and diesel by transporting the drywall to a different place for recycling. In this case the gypsum is used in the soil or as plant nutrition.

Some people call it drywall, sheetrock, wallboard and gypsumboard, by the way. But it’s all typically the same stuff.

Drywall Recycling Resources

The DRS web site explains in detail about recycling drywall, and the benefits.

USA Gypsum recycles drywall, and you can learn more about how it works at their site.

How to Recycle DVDs and DVD Cases

DVDs are a bit of a challenge to recycle. Not only are they made from polycarbonate plastic which is produced from crude oil, but places where you can recycle them are few and far between. DVD cases are a little easier to get rid of in an environmentally friendly way.

Can DVDs and DVD cases be recycled?

Let’s talk about the DVDs themselves first of all. The problem with these is that most recycling centers won’t accept them. Or if they do, they end up going in the big skip destined for landfill. However, due to everyone becoming more environmentally aware there are now some volunteer organisations being set up who will accept and recycle DVDs and CDs. One such one can be found at If you decide to send your DVDs and CDs to them and are worried that they may contain confidential information it is advisable to shred them first.

There are other ways to recycle DVDs, the easiest and most efficient is to either donate or sell them on to others who may have a use for them.

DVD cases are a far easier problem to deal with. Not only do most recycling centers accept them, you may well find that other people can put them to good use. Some people want them for storage; others will use them for various art creations and other projects. You can advertise them on FreeCycle and will probably be inundated with offers to take them off your hands.

If you want to take them to a recycling center but are unsure of where to go, just visit and type in your zip code for the nearest center to you.

What are the possibilities for the recycled DVD and DVD cases?

There are a huge number of ways that old, unusable DVDs can be put to use. Some people use them as reflectors, others in art projects or decorations. It’s common for a whole bunch of them to be threaded onto wire or string and used as a kind of scarecrow in the garden. You can probably think of a load more ideas if you put your mind to it.

You may find that local libraries and schools will be happy to take the DVD cases off your hands, along with any suitable and working DVDs.

But what about the resources used in the DVD recycling process?

If you pass your DVDs and cases onto other users, there are no other resources used in recycling. If DVDs go into the trash then they will end up in landfill, which is not what any of us should be aiming for. DVDs do not break down and will still remain in a few hundred years from now, and there’s also a danger that they can leech toxic substances into the surrounding soil as well.

How to Recycle Egg Cartons

Egg cartons can be made from different substances such as plastic, Styrofoam or cardboard. Very often these just end up in the trash and from there they end up in landfill. But there are many ways that this can be prevented with a little creativity on your behalf.

Can egg cartons be recycled?

The problem with recycling egg cartons is that very often they become contaminated by food. However, cardboard ones can easily be recycled along with other various papers and cardboards. It should also be possible to recycle plastic egg cartons along with other plastics at your local recycling center. However, it is extremely likely that Styrofoam egg cartons will not be able to be recycled, so you should try to find other uses for them.

Because landfill is such a problem, all of us should try to think of ways in which we can re-use egg cartons, and there are multiple ways in which we can do this.

If you want to dispose of them at a recycling center and are unsure of the closest to where you live, visit and enter your zip code.

What are the possibilities for recycling egg cartons?

Reusing egg cartons is the best possible option. There are a whole bunch of ways you can do this, and the following are some of the various uses you might like to use:

  • Storage for golf balls
  • Break up Styrofoam egg cartons and use as a packaging material. This is virtually identical to the Styrofoam packing peanuts or inserts which can be purchased from packaging companies
  • Egg cartons are the perfect tool for growing seeds until they are ready to be transplanted outside or to a larger container
  • Cardboard ones can be used as fire-lighters for starting bonfires
  • Styrofoam egg cartons can be washed and used as ice-cube trays
  • Use for various crafts; they are great for cutting up and using in many creative ways. Perfect for kids and adults alike. You could even consider donating them to your local school for the kids to use there.

But what about the resources used in the egg carton recycling process?

If you re-use your egg cartons then there are absolutely no resources used in this type of recycling. This is the best possible way of recycling, and should be something you should try to adhere to when recycling any materials. By turning waste into something other than trash, then everyone benefits, along with the environment.

Very often cardboard egg cartons are made from recycled paper, so look for any signs which tell you so and try to buy these ones if at all possible. It is always preferable to use recycled products rather than new ones.