Maddox Bunting

Maddox Bunting, a junior at Stephen Decatur High School, showcases markers donated to the Crayola ColorCycle drive at the Berlin school. Several Worcester County Public Schools are participating and donations will be accepted until Wednesday, Dec. 18.

(Dec. 13, 2019) For Maddox Bunting, a junior at Stephen Decatur High School, collecting old markers through the Crayola ColorCycle project allows him to put these supplies to good use instead of in the trash.

“The whole bin in the front office is full, and we have to set up another one,” Maddox said. 

Maddox’s mother, Misty, a physical education teacher at Stephen Decatur High School, said she discovered the project on social media and talked to her son about establishing the project at their school. 

“We got to talking about how many markers we have sitting around our house from when they were little,” Misty said.

Misty said Maddox sent an email to several Worcester County Public Schools’ principals asking if he could place a bin in each of the main offices. He also included a letter that could be sent home with students to inform their parents about of his plan.

“I am proud of him,” Misty said. “He took the bull by the horns with this one, and … it’s nice that they can actually be repurposed. They can’t just be tossed in a recycle bin, and if we actually repurpose them, by sending them back to Crayola, they don’t get tossed in a landfill.”

In addition to Stephen Decatur High School, Buckingham and Showell elementary, Berlin Intermediate, Stephen Decatur Middle, as well as Buckingham and Showell elementary schools are participating in the project, Misty said.

All brands of plastic markers, including dry erase and highlighters, are eligible for the Crayola ColorCycle drive, according to the retailer’s website. 

Misty also said that Maddox approached art teachers about donating their old supplies. He offered to take the markers, test them, return the working ones, and donate the others.

“So that’s helpful, because art teachers have the most,” Misty said. “And they’re still people bringing them in from home I think, [and] other teachers [have] also thrown theirs in there, but he’s had a really good response from the art programs in each school.”

Misty said the “bins are filling up” as more people elect to discard inoperative supplies. 

Misty and Maddox said the collected materials would be recycled for other uses.

“They turn it into wax, and they can use it for electricity [to] power homes, and cook food and stuff, and then they can make it into asphalt, or reuse it for roofing shingles,” Maddox said. 

The donation boxes are open until next Wednesday, Dec. 18. Misty said Maddox would weigh each school’s box to let them know how much they contributed over the past month.

Maddox will then send the materials back to Crayola at the company’s expense.

“That’s the nice part of it, it’s free, it’s easy,” Misty said. “We just box it up and they pay for the shipping.”

Worcester County residents may also donate, according to Misty, who said that they can bring markers to the main office of any of the aforementioned schools.

With the Crayola ColorCycle drive in its final days, Maddox encouraged students and community members to donate their otherwise discarded goods. 

“Just bring them in,” Maddox said. “It’ll help out the environment, and instead of just throwing away, or recycling them, because they’ll end up in a landfill.”

Misty believes the project helps to spread awareness about the need to reduce waste.

“I think everybody’s becoming a little bit more environmentally conscious, and I think this is another step in that direction,” Misty said. “[It’s] one more thing we could avoid tossing into landfills.” 

For more information about the project, visit crayola.com/colorcycle.aspx.

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