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Reduce holiday landfill waste – recycle broken and burnt out holiday lights

Old holiday lights can be recycled and repurposed
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Holiday lights and other lights don't go in the trash - they can be recycled.

If you’re sorting through your holiday décor and coming across burnt-out or broken holiday string lights, do not throw them in the trash.

Product Care Recycling is urging British Columbians to choose a free and environmentally friendly disposal solution for dealing with their old holiday lights. Burnt out or broken string lights can be recycled at more than 150 free drop-off locations across the province, including the Salvation Army Thrift Store in New Westminster (774 Columbia St.)

"Dropping off string lights at a recycling location ensures their various parts are given a new useful life, rather than adding to unnecessary landfill waste,” Mannie Cheung, Product Care’s vice-president of operations, said in a news release. “After they’re dropped off, lighting products are transported to authorized processing facilities here in Canada, and they’re separated by material such as metal, glass, and plastic. Then, the various materials are repurposed for new uses to give them a new life.”

If you have more than five strings of lights, you can take them to ABC Metals Recycling at 8081 Meadow Ave. in Burnaby.

According to the news release, BC Hydro has reported that 60 per cent of British Columbians put up holiday lights, with nearly a quarter planning to up eight or more strands.

All kinds of string lights can be recycled in B.C., including retro-style incandescent strings and LED garlands that twinkle and blink.

String lights are one of many types of lighting fixtures accepted by Product Care Recycling. Other accepted light fixtures include chandeliers, standing lamps, desk lamps, flashlights, garden lights and more. It also accepts burnt out light bulbs including LED bulbs, incandescent bulbs, fluorescent tubes, halogen bulbs and compact fluorescent lights (CFLs).

In 2021, Product Care Recycling diverted more than seven million light bulbs from B.C. landfills.

For a full list of accepted products, visit productcare.org/bclight.

British Columbians can find their nearest drop-off location for light bulbs and light fixtures at www.productcare.org/recycling-locator.

Product Care Recycling is a federally incorporated not-for-profit organization that provides recycling solutions for post-consumer paint, household hazardous waste, lights, and smoke/carbon monoxide alarms. More information about Product Care’s recycling programs and recycling locations is available at www.productcare.org.

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