If you’re putting up new LED Christmas lights this year, the regional district doesn’t want you to throw your old light strings in the garbage.
Instead, it suggests, you recycle them by taking them to a local recycling depot.
“Last year’s Christmas light recycling program alone collected over 10 1/2 tonnes of light strings, enough to fill a 53-foot semi (trailer),” said Rae Stewart, waste reduction facilitator with the Central Okanagan Regional District.
“That’s a huge amount of material that was repurposed into new product, instead of taking up space in our landfill.”
Stewart said you don’t have to remove the bulbs from the strings before recycling, and power cords are also accepted as part of the program, which i now now in its seventh year.
“Recycling your old light strings instead of tossing them out is simple good sense, environmentally and financially. By upgrading your lights, you’ll be saving energy and money on your electricity bill, as LED (light emitting diode) lights use up to 95 per cent less energy than regular Christmas lights and last at least ten times longer,” said Stewart.
“Plus,” she added, “LED lights produce very little heat, so they reduce the risk of fire, which is essential for your family’s safety.”
Old light strings brought to the depots are picked up by Planet Earth Recycling Ltd., and eventually end up at Davis Trading in Vancouver, where they’re baled and exported for processing and the copper is recovered for new use in wiring and plumbing.
Local recycling Depots that accept old light strings include:
• Kirschner Depot, 1988 Kirschner Road in Kelowna, open daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
• Westside Residential Recycling Center, Asquith Road in West Kelowna, open daily from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
• Glenmore landfill, 2105 Glenmore Road in Kelowna, open daily from 7:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.
• Planet Earth Recycling Ltd., 2035 Louie Drive in West Kelowna, open Monday to Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
For more information, go to regional waste reduction web page at regionaldistrict.com/recycle, or contact the regional waste reduction office at 250-469-6250.