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Local Holiday Light Recycling Program Shatters Another Record

holiday lights
Dzenina Lukac

Great Parks and Cohen Recycling's annual holiday light recycling program has broken a record for the second year in a row, collecting 15,700 pounds of lights, the cash value of which Cohen will donate to Great Parks. In 2019, residents donated 11,081 pounds of lights, a first for the partnership.

Collection figures have increased since 2017. The program began in 2014.

"People in our region anticipate this program returning every year," Great Parks CEO Todd Palmeter said in a statement. "They are mindful about salvaging unwanted lights, knowing the can dispose of them sustainable through Great Parks."

Drop-off locations were available from Nov. 1, 2020 to Feb. 1, 2021 and for the first time, the program expanded outside of Hamilton County to include nearly 40 locations across the Tri-State.

While Hamilton County is the only one receiving a matching grant on the dollar value of donations this year – in this case, $2,355 – Cohen spokesperson Nick Oldfield previously told WVXU expanding the matching grant portion of the program was in "pilot mode."

Credit Courtesy of Great Parks
Cohen Vice President Adam Dumes presents Great Parks CFO Andy Collins with donation check.

"Year 1 is kind of a test to see the reaction," he said.

Still, other participating counties won't walk away empty-handed – they receive the cash value of their respective collections.

Jennifer Merritt brings 15 years of "tra-digital" journalism experience to WVXU, having served in various digital roles for such legacy publications as InStyle and Parade, as well as start-ups like Levo League and iVillage. She helped these outlets earn several awards, including MIN's 2015 Digital Team of the Year. She graduated from Rutgers University with a journalism major and English minor and has continued her education with professional development classes through the Poynter Institute, Columbia University and PMJA. Before moving to Cincinnati from New York in 2016, she vowed her son would always call it "soda" and not "pop." She has so far been successful in this endeavor.