This season's holiday lights are greener than ever with LED's, solar and timer options widely available at good prices. But what to do with those out of date, energy inefficient lights from yesteryear? Most of us have miles of the old stuff sitting around in the attic or garage. Well, here is your chance to purge them and feel good about it.
Check out Recycle Your Holidays™, a statewide holiday light recycling program of The Recycling Association of Minnesota (RAM) in partnership with WCCO TV, Xcel Energy, Ace Hardware and CERTS. This is the first-of-its-kind holiday light recycling program which kicked off on November 15, 2010. To date there are over 250 collection locations statewide and is well on its way to exceeding the goal of collecting 200,000 pounds of holiday lights. Customers of Randy's Environmental Services of Delano, MN can also recycle their holiday lights in their curbside recycling container.
"Recycle Your Holidays recycles every part of the light strings. Even the little lights are recycled by another project partner Green Lights Recycling." stated Ellen Telander, Executive Director of RAM. "Our goal last year was to recycle 50,000 pounds of lights which we more than doubled! We also encourage Minnesotans to make the switch to LED light strands, which will save a lot of energy."
Not only is Recycle Your Holidays™ the green thing to do, it is a unique grass-roots program of RAM which employs adults with disabilities from local vocational centers throughout the state. So you are also providing jobs to those that may not otherwise be employed in this economy.
They make it so easy and free! Businesses and organizations that want to participate can get free collection bins and signs to strategically place on their premises. It's a win-win for businesses and organizations who want to provide a unique way to provide a green service this holiday season.
According to estimates by the Clean Energy Resource Teams, 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 the same as powering 55 Minnesota homes for a year, or taking 75 average-sized cars off the road! This is assuming 20,000 pounds of lights are replaced by LEDs and homeowners with lights use them for about six hours a day from Thanksgiving to New Year's Day.
RAM is making it easier than ever to find out where you can recycle your holiday lights with interactive maps on their website at www.recycleminnesota.org. For more information about Recycle Your Holidays™, the statewide effort to recycle holiday lights, visit: www.recycleminnesota.org.