Recycle Motion Blog

Giving old lights new life: MMWA Holiday Light Recycling Drive returns Nov 15 – Jan 15

After the overwhelming response to Mid Michigan Waste Authority’s first ever Holiday Light Recycling Drive last year, MMWA is again teaming up with several community partners to make the upcoming holidays a little greener.

The project kicks off on America Recycles Day – November 15 – just as many people are pulling out their holiday decorations for the season. It runs through January 15, 2017.

Last year, the drive collected more than one ton of unwanted holiday lights, keeping thousands of strings of lights out of the landfill. When deposited in a landfill, it takes between 100 and 1,000 years for holiday lights to decompose, but through the recycling drive old lights will find new life.

Several new drop-off sites have been added this year, to make it even more convenient for area residents to participate. All sizes and styles of indoor and outdoor string lights can be donated.

Residents can drop off their lights at twelve locations throughout Saginaw County, plus the CAN Council’s Bay City office. Collection bins can be found at the following drop-off points:

  • Ace Hardware
    207 W Broad St, Chesaning
  • Bridgeport Twp Governmental Center
    6206 Dixie Highway, Bridgeport
  • The CAN Council
    1311 N Michigan Ave, Saginaw
    715 N Euclid Ave, Bay City
  • James Twp Hall
    6060 Swan Creek Rd, Saginaw
  • Kochville Twp Office
    5851 Mackinaw Rd, Saginaw
  • Mid Michigan Waste Authority
    2063 S Miller Rd, Saginaw
  • Richland Twp Administrative Office
    1180 N Hemlock Rd, Hemlock
  • Saginaw Twp Dept of Public Services
    4870 Shattuck Rd, Saginaw
  • St. Charles Village Office
    110 W Spruce St, St. Charles
  • Thomas Twp Public Safety Building
    8215 Shields Dr., Saginaw
  • Tittabawassee Twp Park
    (during Freeland Light Show)
    9200 Midland Rd, Freeland
  • Zilwaukee City Administration Building
    319 Tittabawassee Rd., Saginaw
  • MMWA is pleased to join forces this year with Gary Shepard, organizer of the popular Freeland Light Show, which runs December 1 through January 1 at Tittabawassee Twp Park, with shows from 5:30pm to 10:20pm daily.  Visitors to the show may drop off lights at the collection bin located in the park.

    The lights will be processed by Rifkin Scrap Metal and Iron, a local company that will send the constituent materials to a processor. The refined materials will then move on to manufacturers to be used in new products.

    Rifkin is providing a rebate for the lights, with all proceeds going to the CAN (Child Abuse and Neglect) Council of the Great Lakes Bay Region.

    Residents should not place holiday lights in their recycling bins or cans at home, as they are not an item accepted through the MMWA curbside recycling program.

    Getting rid of old holiday lights is also a great opportunity to make the switch to LED lights, which last longer, and are more energy efficient and durable.