Keep Ohio Beautiful recently recognized Keep Delaware County Beautiful (KDCB) and the City of Delaware with the Improve Recycling Award, honoring their collaboration on the countywide Holiday String Light Recycling Program.
The execution of the Holiday String Light Recycling Program began as an idea between KDCB, the City of Delaware Watershed & Sustainability program, and the City of Delaware Public Works after all entities noticed a contamination issue with holiday string lights left on trees or placed in recycling bins.
The City of Delaware Public Works, which provides trash, curbside recycling, and yard waste pick up for residents, was not able to properly rid residents of these lights as they are known as tanglers and can cause breakdowns in the recycling sorting equipment. And, unfortunately, lights left on trees for yard waste pick up are not able to be mulched or composted.
In 2019, a brainstorm session between KDCB Coordinator Jenifer Way-Young and former City of Delaware Watershed and Sustainability Coordinator Caroline Cicerchi resulted in the birth of the Holiday String Light Recycling program.
With the assistance of the DKMM Solid Waste District and Accurate IT, a R2 certified electronic recycling company, a plan took shape, including drop-off locations, a drop-off date range, and the logistics of collecting and storing of the lights. The City of Delaware agreed to host string light drop boxes at two locations and provide space for storing the collected lights.
In total, nine drop boxes were placed throughout Delaware County just before Thanksgiving weekend 2019 and removed Jan. 2, 2020. In addition to the city’s Public Works office, other host locations included all Delaware County District Library branches, the Ashley Wornstaff Memorial Library, Delaware Public Health District Sunbury office, and Price Farms Organics. KDCB and City of Delaware employees worked together to pick up the lights when the boxes became full and delivered them to the storage site.
The 2019-2020 Holiday String Light Recycling program was very well received with almost 2,000 pounds of string lights collected for recycling. In 2020, the program was put on hold due to COVID-19, but it’s back for this holiday season. Starting Monday, Nov. 15, through Jan. 14, 2022, residents can choose from 10 different locations, including the newly added Genoa Township Administration Office, to drop off their old string lights and help keep Delaware County bright and beautiful.
For more information on the Holiday String Light Recycling program or general recycling questions, contact Way-Young at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Keep Delaware County Beautiful (KDCB) program is an affiliate of Keep America Beautiful, Inc., promoting Delaware County recycling. Under the leadership of the Delaware Public Health District, the KDCB Coalition provides recycling and litter prevention activities and environmental education programs to the residents and businesses of Delaware County.
Submitted by the Delaware Public Health District.