expands holiday light recycling program
With the holiday season now over, 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, is in full swing.
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, Minnesota,
can also recycle their holiday lights in their curbside recycling
“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
Recycle Your Holidays is a unique grass-roots program of RAM,
which employs adults with disabilities from local vocational
centers throughout the state. It is free for businesses or organizations
to participate and it offers free collection of holiday lights,
free collection bins and signs. It’s a win-win for businesses
and organizations who want to provide a unique way to go green.
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 approximately 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 with LEDs by homeowners
with lights used for about 6 hours per day from Thanksgiving
to New Year’s Day.