Holiday Light Recycling

December 01, 2014
On an average day, a typical Minnesotan creates roughly six pounds of waste.  But from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day, household waste increases by more than 25%.  Added food waste, shopping bags, packaging, wrapping paper, bows and ribbons – it all adds up to an additional 1 million tons a week to the nation's garbage piles.
In an effort to reduce the 25% increase during the holidays in Rice County we encourage Rice County residents to commit to doing at least one waste reduction activity throughout the holiday season.  One activity may be the recycling of old or unwanted holiday lights.
With the holiday season upon us, many of us are dealing with the problem of what to do with old and unwanted holiday lights. Don’t throw your lights in the garbage – Recycle them!  As in years past, Rice County will be collecting Holiday Lights for recycling.  Bins are located near the front entrance at the Rice County Government Services Building (320 Third Street NW, Faribault) and can also be dropped off at the Rice County Recycling Center/Landfill (3800 145th Street East, Dundas).  The lights are recycled through The Recycling Association of Minnesota (RAM).  According to RAM:
“The program is promoted statewide in partnership with WCCO, Great River Energy, Ace Hardware stores, and CERTS (Clean Energy Resource Teams).  It employs over 200 individuals with disabilities at vocational centers throughout the state of Minnesota. Every part of the strand is dismantled by vocational center clients and properly recycled locally.”
Lights can also be dropped off for recycling at the ACE Hardware Store in Northfield (670 Water Street South) through January 31st and ACE Hardware Store in Faribault (421 Second Avenue NW) through January 15th.
Brad Behrens, Rice County Environmental Technician, (507) 332-6833
Julie Runkel, Rice County Environmental Services Director, (507) 332-6113
Tony Murphy, Rice County Administrator, (507) 332-6121