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August is National Crayon Collection Month!

Aug 11 2021

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If you know SCARCE, you know we’re all about the little things that add up. Namely the small, seemingly insignificant items that end up in the garbage every day. Many of our special collections, from bread tags to crayons, work to divert these things from accumulating in a landfill.

Crayons are especially important to divert from a landfill for a variety of reasons:

1. Often they are still usable, as-is! When SCARCE receives a donation of crayons, we first have volunteers go through and remove the whole, good crayons. These are packaged and put out for teachers to use in their classrooms.

2. They are made of paraffin wax, which is derived from petroleum. Extracting this resource is harmful to the environment, so it’s better to reuse the crayons we have before we produce more.

3. It is estimated that over 100 million crayons are thrown away by major restaurant chains alone in the U.S. each year. An average of 100 crayons is equal to 1 pound, which means at least 1 million pounds of waste in the form of crayons is added to a landfill from just restaurants per year. That’s a lot of material to break down.

4. Many children do not have access to school supplies, such as crayons, that can aid their learning and give them a creative outlet. Collecting crayons and saving the good ones for teachers to purchase at SCARCE can provide a much-needed resource to children in need. Additionally, our super crayons are great for children with special needs because the larger sizes and fun shapes make them easier to grasp than regular crayons.

A sampling of our Super Crayons!

The steps to creating super crayons are as follows:
1. Donations of crayons come in and our staff sets them specially aside
2. Volunteers go through the boxes and pull out whole, good crayons to go straight in a bin for teachers to take from
3. The remaining broken crayons are then sorted by color
4. An optional micro-color sort is done — this allows us to get different shades of each color
5. The color-sorted crayons are then peeled by volunteers
6. The peeled, sorted crayons are picked up by volunteers who melt them down in crockpots and pour them into molds
7. The crayons cool and are removed from the mold, ready for use!
8. We put them out on display for teachers and non-profits to take

Benet Academy with their Super Crayons, 2018

SCARCE accepts crayon donations year-round, but use the month of August as an opportunity to start your own crayon collection. Scout groups, churches, and schools are all perfect places to get your peers involved in collecting. Once you have a good amount of crayons, (whatever you deem justifies a trip to our facility in Addison, IL) stop by SCARCE to drop them off. Let us know you’re coming ahead of time by emailing info@scarce.org so we can schedule you in and get a picture with your group so we can thank you in our monthly newsletters and our social media!

Are You Ready To Do Your Part?

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Review our safety protocols and accepted items before your visit.