BCLUW fourth grade class helping turn markers into energy

T-R PHOTO BY CHUCK FRIEND - Students in Kristian Garber's fourth grade class at BCLUW Elementary pose with the Crayola collection box where the used markers are being collected. The markers will be recycled and turned into energy.

CONRAD — The students in Kristin Garber’s fourth grade class at BCLUW Elementary are helping the environment through a program turning dried up markers into energy. And they are looking for your help to complete the project.

Through a special program in conjunction with the Crayola Company called Crayola ColorCycle, Garber’s students are collecting the used markers to repurpose them rather than be sent to landfills.

“We focus on being leaders at BCLUW and this project is one way the students can be leaders through a service project that gives back to the community and the environment,” Garber said.

Since its beginning in 2013, the Crayola ColorCycle program has repurposed more than 70 tons of used markers in the United States and Canada. It uses the most advanced plastic conversion technologies available today to make compounds for asphalt and roofing shingles, as well as to generate electricity that can be used to heat homes, cook food and power vehicles.

Though started by Garber’s classroom, the entire elementary school has collection container boxes in their classrooms. Once a week they are collected by Garber’s students and dumped in a large collection box near the elementary school entrance.

Garber said that while right now only in the elementary school, she hopes yet to be able to get boxes at the middle school and high school to begin collection there. She said that she hopes as her students move to fifth grade next year that the project will continue to grow bigger.

Collection will continue until near the end of school year on June 6. Crayola will then send a shipping label to send in what has been collected. Markers can be brought to the elementary school in Conrad or sent with any student in Garber’s fourth grade class.

According to the Crayola Company, they are looking for any used markers that are ready to be discarded. They do not need to be Crayola brand – any used markers, used highlighters and dry erase markers will be accepted.

Some of the students commented that the project makes them happy because they have the chance to keep the old markers out of the landfills and in turn can help the environment. Others felt it was a good project and one that they could have as an example for other fourth grade classes at other schools to follow.

“With the help of parents and students across the country, the Crayola ColorCycle program can continue to keep tons of plastic out of landfills each year,” a Crayola press release states.