Have bad holiday lights? Recycle them with local program

Back in 2008, Joel Thomas, a Dayton forestry department employee, works the inside job -- inside the mammoth blue spruce that is the centerpiece of Christmas decorations at Courthouse Square -- stringing some of 50,000 tree lights on the tree.
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Back in 2008, Joel Thomas, a Dayton forestry department employee, works the inside job -- inside the mammoth blue spruce that is the centerpiece of Christmas decorations at Courthouse Square -- stringing some of 50,000 tree lights on the tree.

Credit: Staff photo by Jan Underwood

Credit: Staff photo by Jan Underwood

A local program that diverted 3,600 pounds of holiday lights from the landfill a year ago expects to significantly increase its recycling collections this holiday season.

This will be the second time that Five Rivers MetroParks and Cohen Recycling team up to offer holiday-light recycling at half a dozen drop-off locations.

The program helps keep waste out of the landfill while supporting MetroParks' conservation mission, said Tim Pritchard, sustainability coordinator for Five Rivers MetroParks.

This is an easy and green way for residents to get rid of and clean out old holiday lights, cords and other electric wire-based accessories, he said.

Cohen harvests the copper wire in these materials and sells it, he said.

Five Rivers MetroParks, in partnership with Cohen Recycling, is collecting holiday lights to recycle. CONTRIBUTED
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Five Rivers MetroParks, in partnership with Cohen Recycling, is collecting holiday lights to recycle. CONTRIBUTED

Cohen donated $2,000 to the Five Rivers MetroParks Foundation, which was above the value of the materials collected, Pritchard said. The company plans to make a donation again this season based on the amount of lights collected.

Waste related to the holidays, including decorations, generate about 25 million additional tons of garbage, according to some estimates. The Ohio EPA says that people throw away about 25% more trash than normal during the holidays.

Holiday light collection will run from November to the end of January.

Drop off locations are at:

  • 2nd Street Market, 600 E. Second St., Dayton
  • Cox Arboretum MetroPark, 6733 Springboro Pike, Dayton
  • Sugarcreek MetroPark, 4178 Conference Road, Bellbrook
  • Possum Creek MetroPark, 4790 Frytown Road, Dayton
  • Carriage Hill MetroPark, 7800 E. Shull Road, Dayton
  • Wegerzyn Gardens MetroPark, 1301 E. Siebenthaler Ave.