Recycle your holiday lights

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Statewide Effort to Recycle Christmas Lights

This year there is an opportunity to recycle your non-working holiday lights.  The Recycling Association of Minnesota (RAM) is hoping to collect more than 50,000 pounds as it launches the first major statewide effort to recycle Christmas lights.  One of the group’s main goals is to promote energy savings and efficiency.  It is estimated that recycling copper from Christmas lights uses only about 10 percent of the energy it would take to extract and process copper ore.  RAM also hopes to encourage people to consider buying LED lights as part of this effort.

Recycling 50,000 pounds of lights in Minnesota would save about 530,000 kilowatt hours, or about 960,000 pounds of carbon dioxide. That’s assuming 20,000 pounds of lights are replaced by LEDs and that homeowners with lights use them for about six hours a day from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day.

If you and your family or your organization would like to participate, it is recommended that you set up a collection box for your employees or customers.  Then, simply bring any of your non-working holiday lights to the local Pine City collection site through January 15, 2010.  The lights will be collected here and then sent to a recycler where the lights are removed, the pvc insulation line is shredded and the wire separated for recycling.

For more information, click here.

To find out where the collection site nearest you is, E-mail:  ram@recycleminnesota.org

Information taken in part from the Initiative Foundation “Things to Know”.