By Dominic Garcia

DENVER (CBS4)– They are bright, beautiful, and all over Denver… but before you know it, all those lights will soon be coming down. Instead of throwing away any old or broken lights, the city wants you to recycle them.

Charlotte Pitt is the manager of Denver Recycles and recently introduced CBS4 to their new recycling drop off program.  The center is near Quebec and Cherry Creek Drive and the city has teamed with a company that not only collected the lights, but separates the components.

holiday lights Dont Throw Away Those Old Holiday Lights, Recycle Them

(credit: CBS)

“So what they’re actually doing is deconstructing the lights at tearing them apart. They can capture copper wire, aluminum, and the plastic that’s rapped around it. Pretty much the only thing that’s not getting recycled is the glass from the bulbs,” Pitt told CBS4.

denver zoo Dont Throw Away Those Old Holiday Lights, Recycle Them

(credit: CBS)

The city has been aggressively looking for ways to increase its recycling rate. Right now the city recycles at a rate of rate is 20 percent but they want to get it to percent or higher.

“We figure it’s a great opportunity to try a new program, see how many lights are out there. Clearly from what you see there’s quite a bit,” said Pitt.  christmas tree Dont Throw Away Those Old Holiday Lights, Recycle Them

While the city wants people to recycle, there are certain things they cannot accept.

  • Accepted for Recycling: Incandescent, LED, and “icicle” light strings with wires and attached bulbs; all packaging material and bags must be removed from light strands before they can be recycled.
  • Not Accepted for Recycling: Bubble (liquid-filled) and neon lights

City officials add holiday lights will only be accepted for recycling at Denver’s Cherry Creek Recycling Drop-Off, and they cannot be placed in Denver Recycles purple carts or in other companies’ standard recycling bins.

LINK: Denver Recycles

Dominic Garcia anchors CBS4 News at 5 p.m. and reports for CBS4 News at 10 p.m. Connect with the Denver native on Twitter @cbs4dom & on Facebook.

  1. Robert Chase says:

    The City should first encourage re-use, then recycling! If any significant number of working strings of lights are turned in, they should be re-sold at nominal cost rather than be recycled — this reduces the waste involved even more, since such lights reduce the number of new ones consumed.

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