Christmas lights, trees are easily recycled

Posted: Updated:

DECATUR, Ill. (WAND): If you're getting ready to take down Christmas decor, hold off on taking everything to the garbage bin.

Local environmentalists want you to recycle.

"This is our box for collecting Christmas lights,"Laurie Rasmus, with Macon County Environmental Management, says. "So residents are welcome to come here and drop off lights that maybe are no longer working or for whatever reason they no longer want them."

The white collection bin is located at 1750 N 21st Street in Decatur.

"People will be taking down their lights and they'll find out that some of them maybe are not working or they just don't want to use those lights again next year and so recycling is a great option," Rasmus says.

She says even if the lights don't work the strands are still valuable.

"They have precious metals in them," Rasmus says, "copper and plastic, and so those are very highly recyclable."

Once the lights are off your live tree, Lake Shelbyville is your next stop. They're asking for old Christmas trees that they can put in the lake.

"It's actually for fish habitat, so, with the aging lake and the ice we get in the wintertime, we've lost a lot our standing dead timber," Lee Mitchell, with the Army Corps of Engineering, says.

They put the trees in the lake to offer shelter for fish from predators.

"So we stage them down at the water and people volunteer their time - last year we had 180 people show up - and they help us drag the trees," Mitchell says. "We have concrete anchors that we tie on the trees."

The lake hopes to collect between 250 and 500 trees. You can drop off an old tree at the Johnstown Mall in Shelbyville or at the Phillip 66 at the corner of Route 32 and Finley Road.

Current Conditions