If you come across a string of broken lights as you unpack decorations for the upcoming holiday season, know there is at least one bright spot: you don't have to send them to a landfill.
With the holidays fast approaching, many Tri-State counties are offering opportunities to recycle broken, unwanted or burned-out holiday lights.
Most counties have partnered with Cohen Recycling on the initiative and will have bins available until Jan. 20, 2020, unless otherwise noted.
Great Parks of Hamilton County will provide free disposal of lights through Feb. 2, 2020. Bins will be placed in the visitor's centers of the following parks:
- Farbach-Werner Nature Preserve
- Glenwood Gardens
- Miami Whitewater Forest
- Sharon Woods
- Winton Woods
- Woodland Mound
Great Parks asks that you only place lights in the bins - no bags, boxes or containers necessary.
Last year, residents donated 11,081 pounds of lights, over seven times the total of 2017's drive. "I think the public is becoming more and more aware that it's always good to recycle as opposed to sending it to a landfill," Great Parks' then-CEO Jack Sutton told WVXU at the time.
As in years past, the scrap value of the lights collected will be donated back to Great Parks by Cohen Recycling, with a matching donation of up to $2,000. To learn more, visit the Great Parks' website.
Bins will be available at the following MetroParks:
- Voice of America
- Rentschler Forest
"This program gives a good, green place to get rid of an item a lot of people probably didn't even know was recyclable," Mark D. Motz, the county's park district community relations manager, says in a release. "We're glad to partner with Solid Waste, Soil & Water and Cohen on this project and do a little bit to help the environment and preserve our natural resources."
You can find bins at:
- Chilo Lock 34 Park Visitors Center
- Hartman Log Cabin Office
- Clermont Water Resources Lobby
- Clermont Soil and Water Conservation District
Warren County drop-off locations include:
- Warren County Admin Building
- Landen Deerfield Park (near concession stand)
- Armco Park
Dearborn County offers light recycling year-round. Simply drop them off at the County Recycling Center at 10700 Prospect Lane in Aurora, Ind.
This story was originally published in January 2019 and has been updated.