The upcoming holiday weekend is not only a time to be grateful, for many it’s a time to start holiday decorating. Are you dreading pulling out the holiday lights only to find they’ve somehow turned themselves into an impenetrable ball? Or that you’ll plug them in only to find they gave up the light over summer?
Whatever the situation, if you find yourself with holiday lights that don’t work anymore, don’t throw them in the trash!

The City of Elmhurst and the Elmhurst Park District have partnered with SCARCE (School and Community Assistance for Recycling and Composting Education) for the annual holiday lights recycling program. There are five donation drop-off locations in Elmhurst and more than 55 in DuPage county (see lists below).
The program, which is seven years old, has so far recycled an amazing number of more than 50,000 pounds of holiday lights.
Items that are acceptable for drop-off include: Italian mini-lights, traditional lights, extension cords, rope lights, and LED lights in both working and non-working condition. Please note that they cannot accept lawn ornaments or other holiday decorations.
The light strands go through a shredding system and then get sorted by material (copper, glass, and plastic). It’s the copper that makes the holiday lights worth the recycling effort, but the plastic and brass prongs from the plugs get recycled too along with the metal from the strand.
By recycling your lights, you not only save landfill space, you save energy as well, especially if you replace them with energy-efficient LED light strands.
Elmhurst residents can drop off their holiday lights at the following locations. Look for the bins labeled “Holiday Lights.”
·     Elmhurst City Hall, 209 N. York Street: M-F: 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
·     Courts Plus, 186 S. West Avenue: M-F, 6 a.m.-10 p.m., Sat/Sun 6:30 a.m.-10 p.m.
·     Park District Administrative Building, 375 W. First Street: M-F: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
·     The Abbey, 407 W. St. Charles Road: M-Th, 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m.; F, 8:30 a.m.-12 noon
·     Wager Community Center, 615 N. West Avenue: M-F, 8 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sat. 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
Click here for a list of locations through DuPage County.
This program is one of the many ways that Elmhurst makes recycling easier than ever for residents. We’re proud to be a part of such a progressive and forward-thinking city. To find out more about life in our area, call us at (630) 441-5570 or visit our website,