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Library uses crayon recycling for practical Earth Day lesson

The Cloquet Public Library is collecting broken crayons to recycle. The goal is to fill the basket and have a sorting party for children in April. Jamie Lund/Pine Journal1 / 2
The Crayon Drive Station is set on the wolf-shaped cart. The library will be collecting crayons until April 22. Jamie Lund/Pine Journal2 / 2

Cloquet Public Library is collecting broken and unused crayons until Earth Day on April 22.

The crayon collection basket is located on the wolf-shaped cart in the children's section of the library.

The children's librarian, Keiko Satomi, hopes the nearly empty basket will be full by Earth Day.

"This will give new life to crayons," Satomi said. "It will also help children learn about recycling."

Satomi saw a post on Facebook by Zero Waste Duluth announcing the Crayon Initiative and thought it would be a nice way to tie a recycling project with Earth Day at the library.

There will be a Crayon sorting party during Kids Tinker Club, a free after-school program.

Once the crayons are sorted, they will be shipped to the Crayon Initiative to be melted and made into new crayons. The recycled crayons will be shipped to children's hospitals and given to pediatric patients.

The program aims to keep unwanted crayons out of the trash. According to the Crayon Initiative, over a half-million pounds of crayons are discarded each year and end up in landfills.

Reliable Insurance offices in Cloquet, Hermantown and Superior are also collecting crayons, as are Early Childhood Family Education and Time for Tots Preschool in Cloquet and The Little Barnyard Preschool in Esko.

The Cloquet Public Library is open from 9:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday to Thursday, 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Friday and 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.