Joslyn Stamp, 13, of Plattsmouth, Nebraska, a member of Cass County 4-H and a seventh-grader at Brownell Talbot College Preparatory School, has collected more than 12,000 used-up markers in her community and recycled them so that they didn’t end up in landfills. Joslyn is passionate about protecting wild and endangered animals, and sees expanding landfills as a threat to their survival. “Landfills are growing every day and that is taking space away from animals that cannot live without these areas,” said explained.
When Joslyn discovered that markers can be recycled, she thought about all the makers that are thrown away each year in her school district. She sought permission from her elementary school principal to collect markers onsite, and then used chore money to buy small collection bins. She worried at first that no one would respond to her initiative, but to her surprise, they collected more than 100 markers the first day! “I learned that people want to recycle,” she said. “All they need is an easy way to do it.” So she expanded her project by placing collection bins at three other schools, two libraries, a 4-H extension office and a daycare facility, and by setting up a collection booth at an annual county Earth Day event. So far, Joslyn has collected more than 12,000 permanent markers, highlighters and dry-erase markers – more than 336 pounds – for a recycling program operated by Crayola.