Recycling the holidays; Christmas lights can be dropped off at Austin Utilities

Published 10:11 am Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Christmas lights can be dropped off at Austin Utilities

Christmas lights can be dropped off at Austin Utilities

The Recycling Association of Minnesota (RAM) will hold a collection event for recycling holiday lights statewide in Minnesota, joining thousands of local organizers holding recycling events across the country to celebrate America Recycles Day, a day to promote and celebrate recycling in the United States.

RAM and the Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs) are once again working together to provide the Recycle Your Holidays (RYH) program to Minnesotans. Hundreds of drop-off sites are available to Minnesotans across the state who want to recycle their old, tangled, and broken holiday lights. The drop off site in Austin is located at Austin Utilities, 400 Fourth Street, NE.

Minnesotans can bring in their old or non-working holiday lights to be properly recycled at any participating location listed on RAM’s online map through the end of January 2016. The map can be found at The goal this year is to recycle 100,000 pounds of holiday lights.

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“This program is a win-win-win. Minnesotans have a free recycling option, valuable recyclables are kept out of the landfill and the program provides meaningful employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities at local vocational centers throughout the state of Minnesota,” Maggie Mattacola, Executive Director of Operations for the Recycling Association of Minnesota, said in a press release. “This is the sixth year of this program and we are excited to be able to partner once again with CERTs and many other businesses and organizations.”

Along with recycling, Christmas lights users can be more energy efficient with LED lights.

Around the holidays, many homes, porches, shrubs and trees are donned with holiday lights. Depending on one’s holiday lighting enthusiasm, a home can save between $10 to $250 each holiday season by switching to LED holiday lighting. This is because, according to the Department of Energy, LED holiday lights save up to 90 percent of the energy used by traditional incandescent holiday lights. LEDs are also safer, sturdier, longer lasting, and easier to install.