Are you wondering where to go with that burned-out string of lights?  This year, you don’t just have to chuck them into the garbage. Elmhurst has joined other communities in DuPage County in a great recycling program. The whole community will be involved in this project which is both ecologically and economically beneficial to the city.

Throughout the city, there are bins placed as drop-off points for the lights. Certain schools will accept them from their students, so you don’t even have to make a special trip. Once the lights are out of your hands, SCARCE (School and Community Assistance for Composting and Recycling Education) will be sure that they go to Elgin Recycling.  And get this – the city will be paid for the dead lights!

Elgin will pay for the copper content in each strand of lights. They will have the copper separated by another company with a piece of machinery called a chopper. The copper will not make the city rich by any means, but it will be worth the effort to save it—especially to keep it from just being dumped in a landfill. This is a very easy way to help your community and to preserve the environment.

Besides helping the community, there is an advantage to replacing your Christmas lights.  The newer light strands are made with LED lights, which use about 10% of the electricity that older lights use. Also, they don’t burn as hot, which is a safety feature. Those are good incentives to head to the decorating store and drop off your old lights on the way.

The park district and the schools are both cooperating with (and benefiting from!) this effort. Elmhurst is a large community, so our joining the recycling program will significantly increase its effectiveness. With the addition of the Elmhurst area it’s estimated that over 25,000 pounds of lights will be collected this year.

The city of Elmhurst is a place where you can join with neighbors to the benefit of all. If you’re looking for property in the DuPage County area, just call me, Tom Makinney, at our home office, (630) 567-5902, or check out my website.


Have a very Happy and Safe New Year, everyone!