Recycle Your Holidays 2009-2010

Share:


Translate:

This is no longer the active Recycle Your Holidays page.

Click here to see the current page >>

Click to see this year's map of drop-off locations


Thanks to everyone who participated in the first year of the program—over 50,000 pounds were recycled!

The Recycling Association of Minnesota (RAM) in partnership with WCCO TV, Xcel Energy, Snyders Drug Stores and the Clean Energy Resource Teams, launched Recycle Your Holidays™ for the 2009-2010 holiday season. This first-of-its-kind effort in the country started mid-November 2009 and ran through January 2010 throughout Minnesota.

“Recycle Your Holidays recycles every part of the light strings. Even the little lights are recycled by another project partner, Green Lights Recycling.” stated Ellen Telander, Executive Director of RAM. “This year our goal was to recycle over 50,000 light strands and to encourage Minnesotans to use LED light strands instead, which save a lot of energy.”

Testimonials

 
We had a good response. People were excited to have a place to drop off their lights instead of just throwing them in the garbage.
Stacey Tenhoff, Manager of the Appleton Hardware Hank

[Recycle Your Holidays] was a great program! Family members loved it; It was so simple—I made a sign, hung it above the bucket, and families that visited utilized it. People that brought their lights in often commented that it was a great idea to not put old lights in the landfill but put towards something useful. We want to do it next year!
Mary Milbrath, Housing Director and Director of Nursing at Laurels Edge Assisted Living in Mankato

[Recycle Your Holidays] went really well, so well be we had to use bigger containers …32 gallon garbage cans. Customers really liked it; they could get rid of their old lights in an environmentally friendly way. Our store gave $3 rebates if people replaced their old lights with LEDs and this went over very well, too. We’ll enthusiastically do this again next year.
Dave Nieman, Manager of the St. Peter Ace Hardware

[Recycle Your Holidays] was a unique niche, and very easy to facilitate. Our student council members were surprised by how quickly the bins filled up!
Holly Evans, Guidance Counseler, Lake Crystal High School

[Recycle Your Holidays] was a successful project in Granite Falls. We collected about 10 boxes of lighting strings and then delivered them to Benson. People appreciated it because it was convenient; it was easy to do, and just took a little volunteer time. The local hardware store box was always full. This was a highly successful project and we hope to do to again next year.
Dennis VanHoof, Granite Falls EDA

People were excited to get rid of their old lights. I’d estimate that 80% didn’t replace them; our sales this year of all kinds of LEDs have been good. We’d do it again!
Rick Pralle, Manager of St. Cloud Ace Hardware (8th street)

Click here to learn more about the program >>

Where should pick-up sites drop off their lights?

 
Metro contact 1: Metro contact 2 Greater MN contact:
Jason Telander
ATHC
952-240-5560
Jason.Telander@athc.org
Beth Bartholomew
ATHC
320-587-5052
Beth.Bartholomew@athc.org
Joel Haskard
CERTs
612-625-8759
haska004@umn.edu
 

Learn more about Recycle Your Holidays™ and get ready for the program to begin again in October 2010!

 
Press release and video from November 2009

It’s that time of year again, bring out your holiday lights and untangle the wadded mess, but what do you do with the strings that no longer light up? Most people just throw them in the trash, but not anymore.

The Recycling Association of Minnesota (RAM) in partnership with WCCO TV, Xcel Energy, Snyders Drug Stores and the Clean Energy Resource Teams, announces the launch of Recycle Your Holidays™. This is a first-of-its-kind effort in the country starting mid-November and going through January 2010 all throughout the state.

“Recycle Your Holidays recycles every part of the light strings. Even the little lights are recycled by another project partner, Green Lights Recycling.” stated Ellen Telander, Executive Director of RAM. “This year our goal is to recycle over 50,000 light strands and to encourage Minnesotans to use LED light strands instead, which will save a lot of energy.”

Minnesotans are urged to drop off their old, broken holiday lights at any participating Snyders Drug Stores or various locations during the holiday season. Recycling locations can be found on RAM’s website.

Unlike any other holiday lights recycling program in the country, RAM will recycle all lights and cords free of charge by working with local vocational centers that provide meaningful jobs and job training. Another great added benefit is the reduction of waste going to landfills—helping keep our air and water cleaner.

“This is a great chance to combine recycling with energy efficiency,” says Joel Haskard, a coordinator with the Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs). “People can reduce their home energy costs with new LED lights, plus there is a 85-90% reduction of energy using recycled copper from the old holiday lights versus extracting copper.” Haskard notes that many utilities and hardware stores now offer rebates on LED holiday lights.

Another energy benefit are the savings from recycling copper. By one estimate, recycling copper takes about 10 percent of the energy it takes to extract it. “It’s very energy intensive to create new copper,” Haskard said. “It’s a big deal.” According to estimates by the Clean Energy Resource Teams, recycling 50,000 pounds of lights in Minnesota would save about 530,000 kilowatt hours, or about 960,000 pounds of carbon dioxide. That’s assuming 20,000 pounds of lights are replaced by LEDs and that homeowners with lights use them for about six hours a day from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day.

Recycle Your Holidays™ provide community pick-up locations with:

  • FREE recycling bin with signage
  • FREE pick up service
  • FREE recycling of all holiday light strings and electrical cords
  • PROMOTION on all media releases as a drop-off site, driving traffic

Call or email RAM today to offer this free recycling service to your customers. Show you care about the environment and provide meaningful jobs in the community! Learn more and sign up by calling 651-641-4560, emailing ram@recycleminnesota.org, or visiting http://www.recycleminnesota.org

Minnesotans building a clean energy future

         

    CERTs Partners:

Minnesota Department of Commerce University of Minnesota Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships and Extension Great Plains Institute Southwest Regional Development Commission