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How To Properly Recycle Christmas Lights

Pixabay user bluartpapelaria

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency is reminding residents to take care when disposing Christmas lights. 

James Jennings is the manager of the waste reduction and compliance section. He said they are recyclable but shouldn’t be put in a regular curbside bin. That’s because in a regular recycling stream they could gum up the works.

"They get wound in the recycling equipment. The equipment then has to be stopped to remove them and then consequently the process becomes inefficient. And so when you think about any other operation where if you’re having to shut down an entire element of a facility several times a day."

He added that there’s a safer way to recycle lights.

“Many local governments have obtained services that will allow you to take those to a drop-off point. They’re then collected together, sent to a recycler, then those items are returned to the economic mainstream.”

If your local government doesn’t offer such a service, Jennings said an internet search is a good option. He said this is because of the transient nature of Christmas light recycling. A company that took lights last year may not do so this Christmas, and vice versa.