Take time to recycle those old holiday lights

From now until Jan. 17, St. Charles residents and businesses can drop off holiday lights (working or non-working) and extension cords to be recycled at no cost.

Autumn is upon Ogle County, and it seems folks are getting an early start on holiday decorating. Some of those light strands from previous years may not be working anymore and can be recycled very easily in Ogle County.

The Ogle County Solid Waste Management Department (OCSWMD) is again partnering with local fire departments and villages to again offer several convenient drop-off boxes so those frustrating, nonfunctional holiday light strands can be recycled and kept out of the landfill.

Starting Nov. 18, drop-off boxes will be available at the following fire departments: Rochelle, Byron, Stillman Valley, and Mt. Morris. They will be located at the village halls in Polo, Forreston, and Davis Junction, and Creston.

Light strands are also accepted at the Ogle County courthouse and at the OCSWMD office at 909 Pines Road in Oregon. Boxes will remain at these locations until January 20, 2023.

Accepted light strands include Italian mini-lights, traditional lights, LED lights, and other holiday light strands. Extension cords are also accepted. Material not accepted include rope lights, wreaths, garland, metal stakes or silhouettes, live greens, plastic decorations, timers, and light packaging, plastic bags, or cardboard boxes. Placing just the light strands and cords into the bins increases material value and makes the recycling process more efficient for the processor.

Lights and cords will be shipped to Dynamic Lifecycle Innovations in Onalaska, Wisconsin to be recycled. In 2021-2022, over 1,400 pounds of material was collected and recycled through this program.

So as you prepare to untangle, test, and put out those holiday lights this season, remember you can help the environment and recycle all those strands of lights which have brightened our homes in the past but now refuse to light up anymore.

For more information and to learn about other recycling opportunities in Ogle County, call the OCSWMD at 815-732-4020 or visit www.oglecounty.org.

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