It happens every season: people everywhere take their holiday decorations out of the attic and some of the strings of lights refuse to shine. That’s why Peoria County has kicked off their annual Holiday Lights Recycling Program where residents interested in getting rid of old, broken, or simply unwanted strings of lights can do so in a more environmental fashion.
“We’re very excited to be teaming up with Forest Park Nature Center and local libraries in Peoria County again this year to make the program more accessible,” says Becca Cottrell, Coordinator of the Sustainability & Resource Conservation Department at Peoria County.
The program recycled 1,179 pounds of string lights last season, a record for its eleven-year run. "Last year we were able to collect more than half a ton of string lights, which means half a ton of materials was kept out of the landfill and sent for recycling," Cottrell notes. The program has been helping slow down the waste accumulation that’s caused by the holidays since starting in 2012, which initially started amongst County employees before expanding to the public in 2014.
This year, there are five different locations around the County where residents can participate by finding the designated bin, all of which are listed below – please call ahead to your location of choice for hours. The program ends January 8, 2024, covering the entire holiday season from when lights tend to go up around Thanksgiving to when they come back down and head back to the attic after the New Year. Residents are asked to refrain from placing loose lightbulbs into the bins as the recyclable material is the string itself.
The host drop-off locations are as follows:
• Peoria County Courthouse (Jefferson St. Entrance)
• Peoria County Sheriff’s Office
• Forest Park Nature Center
• Chillicothe Public Library
• Alpha Park Public Library (Bartonville)
• Lillie M. Evans Library District (Princeville)