How To Recycle Christmas Lights – An Important Message

Tangled christmas lightsEvery year we have to pull the Christmas tree/lights down from the loft, only to find them tangled in a mess.

After hours of untangling them, you see the lights don’t work.

So, what do you do?

Do you try to find the broken bulb, or do you cut your losses and get a new set of Christmas lights?

Of course, maybe your Christmas lights aren’t broken, and you just fancy a change. Or you found out about the energy-saving benefits from LED Christmas lights.

Whatever the case may be, we need to know how to dispose of them correctly.

Can You Recycle Old Christmas Lights?

Years ago, recycling Christmas lights wouldn’t have even been a question; recycling was barely a thing. But now, technology is allowing us to recycle more materials than ever.

Christmas lights are made with a few materials you can recycle. I’m sure you could guess them:

  • Glass
  • Copper
  • Plastic

Don’t worry; you don’t have to start stripping the lights down yet. Luckily it’s effortless to find a Christmas light recycling program.

So, how do you recycle Christmas lights? Could it really be this easy?

How Do You Recycle Christmas Lights?

Thankfully yes, it really is easy to recycle your holiday lights. So, let’s get into it.

girl holding Christmas lightsWhen it comes to recycling Christmas lights you have a few methods you have at your fingertips.

You could start by finding out if your local recycling company will take it. Some times they have a special drop off point.

It’s worth noting that some local recycling centers will only do this in the holiday season, which is why it’s worth ringing first.

Also, an online search will find plenty of companies that source holiday lights to make money from the scrap.

Copper prices always stay fairly high, which is why it makes it more attractive to buyers. You could also search Earth 911; they have the best recycling database.

There’s always the option of giving them away to charities; it’s a selfless way of getting rid of your old lights. The company Christmas Light Source scraps the bulbs and buys books and games for charities.

Where Can You Recycle Christmas Lights?

Finding a Christmas light recycling program isn’t that hard; you can drop them off with some local recycling programs. But like I mentioned before, this is usually in the holiday period.

Earth 911 will give you a great idea of where you can recycle light bulbs. Their database is easy to use; you’ll find a solution in seconds.

You also have a couple of mail-in services:

Christmas Light Source like mentioned before, recycles old Christmas lights and donates the proceeds to Toys for Tots. Send them your old lights, and you get a 10% discount on your next set of lights.

Christmas Light Source homepage

You also have Holiday LEDs; they offer a similar service, expect the proceeds do not go to charity. When you send in your lights, you get 15% off your next purchase.

You have several drop off centers you could choose from:

MOM’s Organic doesn’t just sell organic food; they also recycle some items, including Christmas lights. All you have to do is drop it off. Other locations include:

  • Ikea
  • Home Depot
  • Goodwill
  • Local Waste Service
  • Walmart

You can nearly recycle your old Christmas lights as easy as you can recycle cardboard. But, if you’re still struggling, or maybe your not ready to give them up, there is always another option.

What Else Can I Use Christmas Lights For?

Instead of recycling your old Christmas lights, why not reuse them? It saves a recycling program having to deal with them, and you make some lovely ornaments:

Wrap Them Around A Mirror

By wrapping your old lights around a mirror, you will bring some added sparkle, for extra vanity. Plus, it looks pretty cool and brightens the room at night.

Hang Them Over Your Bed

You can wrap the lights around the headboard, not only does it look nice. But the soft light is excellent for reading or adding some mood to the room.

Christmas light up-cycling

I saw one design where someone had wrapped a large stick with fairy lights and hung it above the bed; it looked very stylish.

Flameless Fire Pit

There was an excellent design online where someone had made there own DIY firepit. By using some old rocks and sticks, you can bring a warm rustic feel to the room.


To recap, you don’t have to dispose of fairy lights like any other solid waste; instead, find a recycling program. If you can find any recycling events, why not send them to a charity program?

If you send them, you need to make sure you protect them, so the glass doesn’t break; an egg box is perfect for this situation.

And if no of these options are for you, reuse them. You can find some excellent up-cycling ideas for your old lights.

If you like this article, please don’t forget to share it, or if you have any questions, send me a comment, and I’ll get back to you.

If my article on recycling Christmas lights interested you, then why not find out, is Styrofoam recyclable?

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