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It’s that time of year when the holidays are in full swing. The fireplace is crackling, festive tunes are playing, chestnuts are roasting, and your holiday lights are…burnt out!? We all know that feeling too well, and it’s always a game of chance when unboxing last year’s decorations – will you discover that your lights no longer work?

Luckily, if they are burnt out, there’s a solution that’s free and environmentally friendly. In British Columbia, you can recycle Christmas lights – specifically, string lights – at hundreds of free drop-off locations across the province. This makes it as easy as possible to do the right thing with your old lights and ensure they stay out of our landfills.

Why recycle your string lights

We know recycling is good for the environment, and recycling lighting products is no exception. Landfill space is limited, so it’s important to do what we can to keep that space free. Picture how much space your holiday lights take up when they’re stored in your home, and now multiply that by the 4.8 million people who live in BC. If we all recycle our broken lights, we will be doing the planet a really big favour. Not to mention, the materials from recycled lights can be reused. For example, did you know recycled aluminum requires 96% less energy to process than virgin aluminum?

Which lights can be recycled

In British Columbia, you can recycle all kinds of holiday string lights – from retro-style incandescent strings to LED garlands which twinkle and blink. Our program actually includes much more than just string lights. You can recycle almost any type of fixture, as long as its primary purpose is to illuminate a space (this means we don’t accept light-up Christmas characters, or artificial trees with lights attached). We do accept: chandeliers, pendant lights, desk lamps, standing lamps, bike lights and even electric candles, to name just a few! We also accept all types of light bulbs including LEDs, incandescents, halogens, CFLs, and fluorescent tubes.

Take a look at our list of accepted lighting products, and drop them off at your nearest location. Just be sure to double check which of our programs are offered at specific recycling locations, as not all sites are paired with both our light bulb/tube and lighting fixtures programs.

What happens to the lights once they’re dropped off

When it comes to recycling lights and fixtures, components like metal and glass can be recycled and repurposed for other uses. And for lights that contain mercury, we are able to safely remove and store this material to ensure it does not contaminate our earth. There are countless reasons it’s important to recycle your lights, which is why we’ve made it free to drop them off at hundreds of locations across BC.

This holiday season, drop off your burnt out string lights for free at one of our many recycling locations. Don’t forget to bring along any other burnt out bulbs or broken fixtures that have reached their end of life.


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