String lights are considered electronic waste and there are two facilities in West Hartford that will accept them.
By Ronni Newton
Strings of holiday lights that are no longer suitable to adorn homes or trees – which perhaps have been the source of extensive frustration before being discarded – can be disposed of in an environmentally friendly way.
West Hartford’s recycling coordinator, Katherine Breer Bruns, said that while holiday string lights are not allowed in curbside recycling, they are considered electronic waste and can be dropped off at two places in town that accept E-Waste.
The Town of West Hartford Yard Waste and Recycling Center, located at 25 Brixton St., accepts electronic waste and is open during the winter on Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Green Monster, located at 150 Brook St., also accepts E-Waste. They are open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. until noon.
String lights should be kept out of curbside recycling, Bruns said, because they are “tanglers” that choke the recycling equipment, but throwing them in the trash isn’t the best option either.
“There are a lot of materials inside a set of string lights that contribute to making your season bright like plastic, glass, copper, and even lead, all of which can harm the environment,” Bruns said. “If you dispose of holiday lights in the trash, they will sit in a landfill for years or be burned. Consider how many people throw out holiday lights year after year, and the ecological impact becomes painfully apparent.”
When properly recycled as E-Waste, the valuable materials can be properly reclaimed and reused. “This means your old holiday lights aren’t taking up space in a landfill and their ‘ingredients’ aren’t going to waste,” Bruns said.
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