Project gives new life to old lights, raises funds for CAN Council

SAGINAW, MI —– Mid Michigan Waste Authority is again teaming up with several community partners to make the upcoming holidays a little greener with its annual Holiday Light Recycling Drive.

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, 2019.

In the first three years of the popular project, nearly four tons of unwanted holiday lights were collected, 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.

All sizes, styles, and colors of indoor and outdoor string lights can be donated. Only string lights – not other lighted holiday decorations – can be accepted.

Residents can drop off their lights at ten locations throughout Saginaw County, plus a Gratiot County drop-off site at the Wheeler Township Office. Collection bins can be found at:

  • Bridgeport Twp Governmental Center
    6740 Dixie Highway, Bridgeport
  • The CAN Council
    1311 N Michigan Ave, 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 Public Library
    132 S Saginaw St, St. Charles
  • Thomas Twp Public Safety Building
    8215 Shields Dr, Saginaw
  • Tittabawassee Twp Park
    (during Freeland Light Show starting 11/23)
    9200 Midland Rd, Freeland
  • Wheeler Twp Office
    8510 E Monroe Rd, Wheeler
  • Zilwaukee City Administration Building
    319 Tittabawassee Rd, Saginaw

MMWA is again joining forces with Gary Shepard, organizer of the beloved Freeland Light Show, which runs November 23 through January 1 at Tittabawassee Twp Park.  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.