4th year for holiday lights recycling effortby Elizabeth Dunbar, Minnesota Public Radio
ST. PAUL, Minn. — Minnesotans can again recycle their holiday lights.
As Minnesotans put out their holiday lights, recycling bins are waiting for the strands that don't work or are being replaced by energy-efficient LEDs.
The Recycling Association of Minnesota is in its fourth year of organizing the holiday lights recycling program, which sends the lights to vocational centers that employ people with disabilities. The lights are dismantled so that every part of the strand can be recycled.
Maggie Mattacola, a spokeswoman for the group, said 426 locations statewide are participating in this year's recycling program, including all ACE Hardware stores. Many businesses, churches and schools are also participating.
Last year, the effort collected 200,000 pounds of lights, surpassing the group's goal of 150,000 pounds. This year's goal is 200,000 pounds, Mattacola said. She said people have shown strong interest in the program.
"They want to do the right thing, they want to recycle," Mattacola said, "and around the holidays there can be a lot of waste that's generated, and this is just one more way, one more niche recycling program that can really make an impact."
The program collects broken light strands as well as working incandescent lights that are being replaced by LEDs, she said.
The group has more information about the program, as well as a map of drop-off sites, on its website.
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