The Mid Michigan Waste Authority will kick off their 7th annual Holiday Light Recycling Drive on America Recycles Day, November 15, 2021, and run through January 15, 2022. Recycle your broken, old, or out of style holiday string lights this season and put some sparkle back into your holiday!

Residents can drop off their lights throughout Saginaw County at the following locations: Bridgeport Twp Govt Center, The CAN Council office in the City of Saginaw, Carrollton Township DPW, Frankenmuth City Hall, James Township Hall, Kochville Township Office, Mid Michigan Waste Authority Office, Richland Township Office, Saginaw City Public Works, Saginaw Township DPS Bldg., Spaulding Township Office, St. Charles District Library, Thomas Township Public Safety Bldg., Zilwaukee City Office plus one location in Gratiot County located at the Wheeler Township Office. A collection bin will be located at Hayes Park during the Freeland Light Show from December 1 to January 1.

Over the six years of the popular project, nearly six 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.

MMWA again has joined forces with Gary Shepard, organizer of the beloved Freeland Light Show, which runs through January 1 at Hayes Park.  Visitors to the show may drop off lights at the collection bin located in the park.

GM Saginaw Metal Casting Operations has teamed up with MMWA this year and will serve as a host drop off site for their employees.

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.

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.