It’s that time of year when the holidays are in full swing. The fireplace is crackling, festive tunes are playing, chestnuts are roasting, and your holiday lights are…burnt out!?
We all know that feeling too well, and it’s always a game of chance when unboxing last year’s decorations – will you discover that your lights no longer work?
Luckily, if they are burnt out, there’s a solution that’s free and environmentally friendly. In British Columbia, you can recycle Christmas lights – specifically, string lights – at hundreds of free drop-off locations across the province.
This makes it as easy as possible to do the right thing with your old lights and ensure they stay out of our landfills.
Recycling is good for the environment, and recycling lighting products is no exception. Landfill space is limited, so it’s important to do what we can to keep that space free.
“Picture how much space your holiday lights take up when they’re stored in your home, and now multiply that by the 4.8 million people who live in B.C.” reads a notice on the Product Care Association (PCA) website.
The recycled lights can be reused. For example, did you know recycled aluminum requires 96 per cent less energy to process than virgin aluminum?
In British Columbia, you can recycle all kinds of holiday string lights – from retro-style incandescent strings to LED garlands which twinkle and blink.
The program actually includes much more than just string lights. You can recycle almost any type of fixture, as long as its primary purpose is to illuminate a space (this means they don’t accept light-up Christmas characters, or artificial trees with lights attached).
They do accept: chandeliers, pendant lights, desk lamps, standing lamps, bike lights and even electric candles, to name just a few!
They also accept all types of light bulbs including LEDs, incandescents, halogens, CFLs, and fluorescent tubes.
In the Shuswap, residents can drop them off at Bill’s Bottle Depot.
When it comes to recycling lights and fixtures, components like metal and glass can be recycled and repurposed for other uses.
And for lights that contain mercury, they are able to safely remove and store this material to ensure it does not contaminate the earth.
This holiday season, drop off your burnt out string lights for free at one of ProductCare’s many recycling locations. And don’t forget to take along any other burnt-out bulbs or broken fixtures that have reached their end of life.