Villages recycling old Christmas lights
Residents who want to recycle lights can do so at Norridge Village Hall, 4000 N. Olcott Ave. | Dan Luedert~Sun-Times Media
Holiday lights recycling
Where: Village Hall, 4000 N. Olcott Ave.
When: During business hours through Feb. 28
Information: Visit www.villageofnorridge.org or call (708) 453-0800
Where: Village Hall, 7300 W. Wilson Ave.
When: During business hours
Information: Visit www.harwoodheights.org or call (815) 931-8318
Updated: February 19, 2013 12:30PM
As people look for more ways to recycle, new opportunities appear.
Both Norridge and Harwood Heights are collecting inoperative strands of Christmas lights for recycling.
“This is our second year,” said Doug Strempek, information technology coordinator and coordinator of Norridge’s Green Team.
Residents so inclined may dispose of unwanted lights at Village Hall, 4000 N. Olcott Ave.
Strempek noted some recycling programs have become so expensive, the village just could not justify the cost. “We used to recycle batteries, but the cost to the village would be $600,” he said. “How do you justify that?”
Harwood Heights this year is joining the effort through a collection site at Village Hall, 7300 W. Wilson Ave.
Brittany Simon, environmental director at Elgin Recycling, said the collection of holiday lights been growing over the years.
The company is working with Norridge on this project.
“We pick up the lights, package them and then send then to a vendor here in the U.S.,” she said.
That vendor then chops up the lights and separates the material.
The copper is turned into ingots, and the plastic into fine little pieces that are sent off to be reused, she explained.
“This gives people another outlet for recycling,” she noted.
Harwood Heights Trustee Lawrence Stein said he became aware of the lights recycling program after seeing a flyer about it in another town.
“The (Harwood Heights) Board was interested, so we contacted our recycler,” he said.
Stein noted Vintage Tech Recyclers of Romeoville will pay the village 15 cents per pound of lights turned in.
“Money aside,” Stein said, “recycling is the right thing to do.
“We give these things a second life,” he continued. “It makes things that much better for future generations.”