Monday, December 14, 2015

Are Christmas Lights Recyclable?

The history of Christmas lights dates back to the mid-1800s. In the late 1800s, President Grover Cleveland illuminated the first White House Christmas tree with electric lights.

“Decorations for winter holidays are expected to account for 63.7% of industry revenue in 2015. Christmas decorations account for over half of seasonal decorations sales at 58.9% of total industry revenue.”

With this many decorations sold, a percentage of these sales will certainly be for Christmas lights.

Generally, strands of Christmas lights are made of incandescent light bulbs. They last approximately 2 to 4 years. Strands of LED Christmas lights can last about 10 years making them well worth the higher cost per strand.

What should be done with these strands of lights when they burn out? The majority of people throw them into their regular trash, but there is a way to recycle them.

“Starting November 5, 2015, take your old incandescent Christmas light strings to your local Home Depot store for recycling. You’ll receive a $3, $4 or $5 discount toward the purchase of ENERGY STAR qualified LED Christmas lights.”

Some recycling centers, even larger ones, are not equipped to handle Christmas lights as a recyclable item since they are considered a mixed commodity. The very best advice is to find a local Home Depot or other home improvement store who will accept them and possibly even give you a discount on new ones.

For more information on recyclable items visit

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