Way to Go Clayton County you more than Quadrupled Your Effort!

The Clayton County Energy District’s holiday light recycling project is one of our most popular programs! In just the second year we quadrupled our collection effort from 90 lbs to 400+lbs of collected incandescent holiday lights. 

Diverting 400 lbs of old, energy hogging Christmas lights from the landfill is important; without this recycling program they would be around for thousands of years in a landfill. The recycling process is done by separating the insulating plastic surrounding the valuable copper, brass, and glass. The byproducts are then used to make other objects like new wire, pipes, or other consumer products with the materials.

Next year, remember to replace your old lights with energy efficient LED lighting. LED lights do not use a filament to produce light, it is a light emitting diode. This diode is more efficient and produces little to no heat even after being in use for hours. The filament in the incandescent bulb will eventually degrade to the point of breaking, when the bulb is no longer viable. While incandescent bulbs may have hundreds of hours of expected life, the LED equivalents estimate a life span of tens of thousands of hours. In addition, because the do not produce heat the LED lights they are less of a risk for causing a fire.

LED lights will also allow you to string more lights together. Typically one string of 70 LED bulbs will use 4.8 watts of energy. While one string of 100 incandescent bulbs will use 40.8 watts of energy. You can string up to 5 strands of 100 incandescent bulbs safely in one outlet, giving you 500 bulbs in total while using 204 watts. With LED you can safely string up to 43 strands of 70 bulb led lights in one outlet, giving you a total of 3,010 bulbs while using 206.4 watts.

The CCED is so grateful to our partners in this collection effort, especially the Winneshiek County Recycling Center. Kudos to you if you hosted a collection container and encouraged the recycling effort. In partnership we made a difference, we diverted 400 lbs of waste from the landfill and reduced our carbon footprint by reducing energy consumption!