DECATUR -- A county program will continue to offer a final home for those old Christmas lights that no longer help to spark that holiday magic.
The Macon County Environmental Management Department has begun its annual Christmas lights recycling program, with all proceeds set to go to the American Red Cross Central Illinois Relief Fund.
Lights will be accepted outside the department’s fourth-floor office at the Macon County Office Building, 141 S. Main St.,Decatur. Lights can be dropped off from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday until Jan. 22.
Deb Garrett, director of the department, said the program provides another service to the community that prevents further waste at the landfill.
“It’s just a chance for residents to get rid of those old Christmas lights that do not work anymore,” she said.
More than 2,100 pounds of Christmas lights were recycled through the program, which Garrett said amount to about $400 being donated to the local American Red Cross.
“The amount all depends on the price of copper, but it’s something that we can give to a good cause,” she said.
The program started in 2011 when the department became aware of the number of lights being dumped in landfills throughout the area after they broke or were replaced by newer lights.
Copper and other materials can be gathered from recycled lights and reused in other products. In recent years, more-efficient LED lights have also replaced older lights that were then thrown away.
Aside from the economic impact, officials said recycling lights helps remove unnecessary waste from landfills, saves energy and helps create jobs.
For more information on Christmas lights recycling or other related programs, call the department at (217) 425-4505 or visit macongreen.com