Drop the Christmas lights and step away from the garbage can.
With the holidays behind us, the decorations are coming down (unless you’re one of those people who prefers to keep them up through January to bring some light to the dark winter months).
You’ve packed away the stockings and the ornaments, the tree skirt and star at the top of the tree. You’ve recycled the tree at a local Pittsburgh spot, but what about those old lights that don’t work? Rather than tossing them back into the large box of lights you keep stowed away in your garage (only to become a tangled mess next season), or worse, throwing them in the garbage, recycle them! Yes, you can recycle those colorful strings.
Disposing of your Christmas lights is as good as tossing them in a landfill. Depending upon what kind of lights you have, like compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs), you may be releasing mercury straight into the environment.
Keep an eye out for Christmas lights collection boxes around town, or check out this list of local spots that will take your broken, burnt out lights.
Recycling Christmas Lights in the Pittsburgh Area in 2022
Here are some of the places where you can recycle Christmas lights in Pittsburgh and the surrounding areas. Look for a drop-off bin in the front of the hardware stores listed. They’ll be around for a few weeks following the holiday.
Ace Hardware // Wexford
Address: 11910 Perry Hwy, Wexford, PA 15090
Busy Beaver // Irwin and Lawrenceville
Address: 8800 Norwin Ave., Irwin, PA 15642
Address: 4743 Plummer St., Pittsburgh, PA 15201
Castriota Metals and Recycling // McKees Rocks and South Hills
Address: 1140 McKee St., McKees Rocks, PA, 15136
Address: 1200 Saw Mill Run Blvd., Pittsburgh PA, 15220
Daniel’s Discount // South Park
Address: 5724 Curry Road, Pittsburgh, PA, 15236
Evolution E-Cycling // Southside
Address: 2235 Mary St., Pittsburgh, PA 15203
Michael Brothers Hauling & Recycling // Baldwin
Address: 901 Horning Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15236
Miller’s Ace Hardware // Bethel Park
Address: 3400 South Park Road, Bethel Park, PA 15102
Rollier’s Hardware // Mt. Lebanon
Address: 600 Washington Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15228
Westmoreland Cleanways // Greensburg
Address: 355 Pleasant Unity Mutual Road, Greensburg, PA 15601
📦 Recycle Your Holiday Lights By Mail
If you can’t make it to any of these drop-off sites, there are three companies you can mail your unwanted lights to instead for recycling. Each company specializes in selling lights and will email you a coupon after they receive your lights for recycling.
To lessen your carbon footprint, pack the lights in the smallest box needed to contain the lights, don’t include any packing materials, and ship the lights in the slowest and least expensive way.
What Should You Do With Lights That Still Work?
Do you have lights that still work or other decorations that no longer bring you joy? Instead of tossing them, try your local Buy Nothing group. These groups offer a great way to gift your extra lights (and anything else) to your neighbors.
When you’re ready for a new set of lights next year, remember to switch over to LED bulbs, which are both friendlier on your wallet and the environment than other options.
📸 Header photo: Getty Images