How to Recycle Pencil Shavings

By heather at 11:49 pm on Monday, April 16, 2007

I came across this post on How Can I Recycle This?

“Last week, I wrote a bit of a rant about how much I hate it when pencil leads are broken (HATE) and asked what I could do with the formerly-useful pencils. But I didn’t think about the resultant sharpenings. If the pencil is wood, I guess they can be composted - right? But what about previously-foam-cup pencils that can’t be composted? I know it seems a really small thing and almost isn’t worth caring about, but any suggestions?”

As an illustrator, I create an incredible amount of pencil shaving waste! I even have a ‘graveyard’ of pencil stubs too short to comfortably use anymore but am too sentimental about to actually throw away. Happily I don’t need to toss the pencils shavings in the trash anymore, as I’ve discovered some great ways to keep shavings out of landfils :

Reuse

Mulch : wood pencil shavings make great mulch in the garden

Reduce
Use graphite sticks instead of pencils (completely reducing the shaving waste)
Use solid graphite pencils (completely reducing the shaving waste)
Use refillable pencils and just purchase new leads (be sure to purchase those packaged in recyclable & recycled packaging)

Recycle
wood pencil shavings can be composted
wood pencil shavings can be used as kindling in fireplaces

Filed under: illustrations, business of illustration

4 Comments »

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Comment by Kristin

April 20, 2007 @ 8:54 am

I didn’t realize that they made graphite sticks until I read your post, which was quite interesting by the way. Today I happened upon this article which I thought might interest you. It’s about an artist who makes graphite sculptures that you can actually draw with:

http://www.coolhunting.com/archives/2007/04/agelio_batle_gr.php

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Comment by monica morrison

October 30, 2008 @ 11:17 am

My math teacher and I thought about how to recyle pencil shavings and how we would go about making more pencils from them.

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Comment by monica morrison

October 30, 2008 @ 11:18 am

And WE WILL FIGURE IT OUT! BAWW!

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Comment by fanuel amare

April 15, 2010 @ 9:39 am

woww this is lame for real man comee on

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