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December 2012
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CityLink Seattle

Recycle Your Burned Out Holiday Lights


Photo of holiday lights.

LED holiday lights use much less electricity and last longer — if you can keep them untangled.

Whether you plan to take down your holiday lights next week or sometime in the spring, a lot of us have at least one strand that’s seen its last fruitcake.

Bulbs have burned out. Wiring has failed. Maybe it just became too much of a tangled mess.


Photo of burned out holiday lights.

Burned out bulbs make this set of lights a candidate for recycling.

Whatever the reason for the demise of your bright, twinkling decorations, don’t pitch them into the trash. Recycle them. The copper wiring will get re-used and the amount of trash going into our landfills will be reduced.

King County put together a great list of locations where you can recycle your old lights, which includes all McLendon’s Hardware stores, the Ace Hardware stores in Magnolia and Maple Leaf, and a mail-in program by

Now also is a great time to buy replacements as stores clear out their remaining inventory. If you’re picking up a new Rudolph, blinkers or classic white lights, look for energy efficient LEDs. They use significantly less electricity, which will help keep your energy bills low next season.

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