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'Holiday Lights Recycling' campaign set up with local drop-off locations

ProAct, a nonprofit serving people with disabilities, is kicking off its "Holiday Lights Recycling" effort in conjunction with several metro area cities. The program also recycles electrical, phone and appliance cords and offers 29 drop-off locations.

"Keep your lights and cords out of the trash and recycle bins, and know that they will be handled properly and that the valuable material will be reclaimed and reused in new products," ProAct Production Coordinator Jennifer Cavalier said. The effort also helps to employ dozens of people with disabilities in Dakota County.

People with disabilities process the cords and bulbs at ProAct's Eagan, Minn., facility. There are a few exclusions, Cavalier explained. Drop-off locations and ProAct cannot accept cord adapters, battery packs, plastic rope lights, CFL lights, light fixtures, trees and garland. Anything that is pre-lit needs to have the light strands removed from the item and the item disposed of separately by the consumer, she said.

Christmas lights and electrical cords cannot be recycled in standard, single-sort recycling bins, and can cause problems in the regular waste stream, but the material is recoverable, Cavalier said. ProAct has grown the recycling effort each of the last four years. All the work and income from the processed material will benefit individuals with disabilities in its programs. The program ends Jan. 31

Local drop-off locations serviced by ProAct include D&G ACE Hardware in Cannon Falls.